Monday, June 14, 2010

slowly going from depression to smug anger to compassion

When my B12 deficiency was recognized, much of my depression left me. It became easier for me to laugh and respond to people in the way they approached me. I was replacing depression with smug anger. I was misinterpreting, "As you sow, so shall you reap." A response is also sowing.

From now on, I'll try harder to answer insults with kindness and mockery with grace.

At the very least, I should've remembered "“Never wrestle with a pig—you get dirty and the pig likes it."

Better yet, the standard response attributed to H.L. Mencken (probably the source), Edward R. Murrow (who might've copied Mencken), and Mark Twain (because all clever things are attributed to Twain): "Dear Sir (or Madam): You may be right. Sincerely..."

Even better, a favorite Jesus quote:
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
To spare you from clicking and to preserve the record in case the shitterly LJ gets nuked, I just posted this at Dear Kynn, my work here is not done:
I'll be working on compassion all my life. When you mock people, you do it because you hurt, but your pride keeps you from admitting your pain. I know that because I've also surrendered to the euphoria of righteous anger. I can't do anything about your pain, and I'm sorry about that, but I will continue to do my imperfect best to respect your identity whenever I disagree with your beliefs. As for the things you've said in your pain about me, you're forgiven.

sincerely,

Will Shetterly

PS Yes, I wasn't serious about being pseudonymous. It just amused me that your first instinct was to out me. That's also something one does in anger, as I know too very well. You're forgiven for that, too. It was juvenile of me to be amused. I'll work on that.

PPS. I recommend Jay Lake's new post, On communicating with people you disagree with.
There are many reasons to forgive people. If you can't think of any better, Oscar Wilde's is good: "Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much."

If you want to forgive without taking a blow to your pride, there's Mahatma Gandhi's "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

But the best reason I know is this, by the source of many great quotes, Unknown: "Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die."

One of Kynn's friends immediately showed up at the post to say I had admitted I was lying about being pseudonymous, which gave me more insights into online pseudonymity, but if you wish to read those, go here.

And, yes, my first words to that reader show I'm still wrestling with compassion. I change slowly, but eventually, compassion will win.

ETA: I've deleted that LJ. Once I'd established that being called "shitterly" didn't bother me and I then forgave Kynn, it had served its purpose.