From The Dialogues:
From The Dialogues:
I probably don’t like you. You’re welcome.* (*: Not sarcastic.)
My fourth-grade classroom restricted its students to bringing identical Valentine’s Day cards for everyone or no cards at all. I found this a problem, as most of my classmates were bland blobs, while a vocal minority were… [people I didn’t like].
Only this year—at age 25—did I finally realize I can choose my friends. Four of my friendships ended this year, and I’m glad they did.
An ex ended our friendship—my first official ending—in July, followed by an old poker buddy in August. I ended one in October—my first initiation—and a different ex ended our friendship on Monday. Every one of these has been a wonderful change, with benefits extending far beyond free time.
It’s common knowledge—and I find it experientially true—that you “can’t please all the people all the time.” Apply that to relationships: Some people won’t like you. Turn that around: You won’t like some people.
Ending a friendship is therefore an act of integrity. It forwards your values. It makes manifest your soul.
You prioritize your family. You care about your friends. Most people choose a partner to prefer over all others. Having preferences is Good. It’s the foundation of consciousness.
All my friends have former, now-dead friendships. Most drift apart instead of going out with a bang, but both seem to happen surprisingly often. People grow and change. Friendships die. We can still love what was.
You can hate some people and everything they stand for. You can love with abandon those you prefer. You can express your soul. If someone doesn’t like you, good for them.
(In the order they came to me)
The more that art affects lives, the better it is. (Assuming it affects lives in a positive way).
This can be broken down into two dimensions:
You could define “expected impact” as (Total number of people) x (Average amount of impact).
A few methods for creating art with a high expected impact:
*: You’ll want to do the thing that matters the most to you, and it mattering a lot to you is a good prediction that it’ll also matter to others. It mattering to others is a good predictor of how much it affects them.
**: That math has two spots of “good predictor”, so it’ll be exponentially removed from truth.
As a kid, I’d schedule a play date weeks in advance. These days, even when after confirming a reptile festival the day before, I still assume a 50-50 chance my friend bails. When he does, 8am day-of, I’m annoyed. I’m confused. How much is him and how much is changing culture?
I’m not here to tell you, “Something is lost.” It is, but that’s not the point. Instead, it’s simply that some things have changed:
If people still lock down plans, I don’t know them. My friends might be outliers, or perhaps the Bay Area’s incessant climbing keeps everyone on the lookout for upgrades. Or maybe this experience is a worldwide phenomenon. Faster communication means more rapidly changing circumstances.
No matter the reason, I must adjust. It’s a tough lesson to learn. Negative punishment can easily become mis-associated. In this case, to self-blame:
I try not to see it in those ways. I try to see it as the new world order. I think that’s accurate, but I’m not sure. Are you?
“Fuck you!” yells the boy-child biking past. He pauses a moment, then adds, “And your mom!”
His comment fills me with Righteous Joy in these final moments completing my cycle home. See, I was once a Little Shit too:
As a reformed Shit, I now carry the mantle of informing Shits when they’re being Shitty.
In advising a youth group, I once explained to a high school senior the reasons it’s inadvisable to urinate in a public school trashcan. To get through to him, I employed the phrase “sex offender registry.”
I yell “Yo!” when it becomes first apparent this boy-child biker is being Shitty. He hurtles down the two-lane path at a rapid pace, clearly intent on swerving around the woman-with-dog and into my lane of the tight, dark tunnel. Upon hearing my yell, he slows, so I relax… but then the Shit passes her anyway! At the same moment as me! Dangerous? Yes! And also stupid as fuck! Maybe wait for half-a-second, Dumbass?
After passing into safety, I holler, “Don’t do that!” (admittedly as a schoolmarm would chide a child), so he delivers the epithet invoking my mum.
I was a Little Shit once, but now recognize my Shitness. One day, I hope this Little Shit does too. ‘Til then, fuck him! And his mom!