Wednesday, October 8, 2014

the outside world

I passed by a girl on the sidewalk today. She was wearing a sweatshirt that said "I <3 dogs" (that <3 was of course a perfect little red heart). As we got closer, I saw that it said under that, in smaller print,

"It's humans that annoy me"

My little <3 felt a little sicker.

I am a human.

I am not, and never will be (in this lifetime at least) a dog, NY, yachting, or anything else that anyone might <3.

I am utterly, irrevocably, completely annoyingly human.

Life has been hard lately. People have annoyed me. I have annoyed other people. The people around me, the people I love, have been annoyed to the point of sickness by other people around them. 

Of course we're all annoyed by the people around us. They have opinions and habits that repel us. They get in our way. They say mean things, or things we perceive as being mean. We don't have the time or energy to deal with them, but we can't imagine a way to not deal with them.

They are hard to <3.

But that girl's sweatshirt, and the soul-sinking (to me) sentiment it expressed, reminded me that we all need to take responsibility.  The outside world, the world of other people, is not the only thing going on, even though we act as though it is. We are not at other people's mercy, though we act as though we were. We are thinking, feeling adults, with inner worlds that we carry around with us all the time. Taking all that stuff in, sorting it, reacting to it or not reacting to it, creating stories around it or deciding not to create stories around it, deciding what to think and feel about it. That is our responsibility.

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