But I do understand if you think I'm a cow here. I think so, too. The real question is why does that person push my buttons so (inferiority) and what can I do about it? (lots of things - the quest to let go of things that no longer serve continues).
~ ~ ~
It works well enough that many of us keep coming back to it, boosting our flagging self-esteem by noting behaviour or reading things others write that confirm how fucking awesome our own views are, and how totally *stupid* or *illogical* or *weak* or *childish* or [insert whatever your pet abhorrence is here] theirs are.
It makes you feel better in the same way that eating a couple of Tim Tams for lunch will keep the hunger at bay. It gives you a sugar boost to keep reminding yourself how ridiculous other people are, how much bullshit they surround themselves with. In comparison to you, of course. You are proud of how little you are taken in, of your ability to stand back and accept nothing of what sucks other people in and makes them look weak. Because you're strong, and nobody will ever make YOU look like a fool.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Blah blah blah.
But you still, in the end, hate yourself and your small life just as much as you did before. But hating everybody else is a comfort, and is much easier than the hard work required to ownyourownshit.
Whereas there's other people out there who have sorted out some of their shit. Those people breathe a sort of freedom out ahead of them, and it wafts in behind them. Whenever I come across them they both make me feel more comfortable, while making the bits of me I like least - my fearfulness, my defensiveness - dwindle, and bringing to the forefront those things that I love the most - my creativity, my openness, my willingness to learn. They've dealt with a lot of the things that have made them smaller, angrier, more fearful. They've dealt with some of their stuff, and so they inspire you that you can deal with yours too. They are far more able to put themselves aside than the many who are so fragile in their beings living in this complex age that they have to puff themselves up like fish to get away from the feeling and the worry that they are in fact pieces of shit. And in their defensiveness make themselves look smaller. Whereas the others, who are able to make themselves smaller, appear bigger.
They're the people I admire, when I think of how much we need to change if we are going to stay alive on this planet. They're the people who inspire me because they know better stories, and when I think of the breadth of humanity - its patheticness at one end, and its soaring beauty at the other, which we do not see anywhere near enough of and which we all possess - and remind myself of the sort of person I wish to be, it's those people I keep in mind. The ones who don't need to boost themselves up at others expense, because they don't need to boost themselves up at all. That's real freedom.
Justine Musk has been talking recently about the same sort of thing from another angle here.
|Pic by Andreas Trepte (creative commons share alike/attribution)|