Wednesday, June 7, 2017


It’s important, first of all, to remember that everything that happens in the world around you targets only one person: You.

If you don’t remember this, you’re not going to function well in this world where umbrage is preferred over understanding.

And it’s important, second of all, to shout into the empty room that is social media rather than to talk with the real flesh-and-blood entities circulating the air around you – but after all, they’re less important since, as you remember, everything that happens in the world around you targets you and you alone. Never mind that in talking with them you might find that it’s the Copernican model of the solar system that works, not the one you’ve got in mind.

Also, don’t forget a good hashtag or two as you vent your frustrations in a passive-aggressive fashion.

Yes, the irony of me posting this on an ill-read blog and then linking to it via my Facebook account does not escape me, But remember – I’m reacting to a world in which affronts to me and my personality and my beliefs are targeted solely at me, so it’s my right to lash out into the darkness in a way that helps me vent my righteous anger without, you know, actually thinking about my actions or talking before I post or tweet and maybe – just maybe, mind you – growing in understanding and then watching my anger and victimhood uselessly evaporate in the face of the evidence that the thing that offended me was not targeted at me.

But where’s the fun in that?

Because in understanding, sometimes you have to face some ugly truths:
  1. The world does not revolve around you
  2. The beliefs you hold might indeed be wrong, wholly or in part
  3. Your actions are often deserving of consequences, no matter how unrighteous your accusers may be
  4. You don’t always know others’ motivations
  5. If you think you know others’ motivations, it’s more likely than not you’re only interpreting their motivations through the lens of everything in the world focusing on you, meaning the chances of your misinterpreting their motivations are high.
And if you think this doesn't apply to you  -- or that if someone appears to be selfish it is because they still think what they believe is correct, then you've missed the point. You're still centered on you.

Don’t assume this is a philosophical argument against absolutes. Because there are times when, indeed, you are individually targeted and where the empty room of social media is the last venue open to you and the hashtag your last hope of bringing attention to your case. Or indeed your religion, your ethnic group, even your age category can be summarily attacked, leaving you to feel icky.

Then again, there are times to talk to those around you. Particularly when the situation is ambiguous and those you can talk to are your colleagues.

But sometimes – just sometimes, mind you – the situation is as I’ve said. You are not the primary target.

I fall victim to this kind of thinking all the time. I’m me-centric. But they say the way to a cure is to first recognize you have a problem.

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