Saturday, August 15, 2009

Even though Sally can wait, don't look back in anger

And what does that song mean? Take a look at the lyrics. Watch this music video. I think you understand the song's meaning, so much so I don't need to explain. (actually I think the song is fairly easy to get a sense of meaning-wise, though as to its precise meaning, despite what I've said previously (because you forget good sir, I lie), I'm not terribly sure, nor am I terribly inclined to figure it out right now).

Anywho, a little kid impressed me a while back (little kids are awesome, and funny, I mean just look at 'em, heh, heh, heh), by noting a bad behavior at some prompt, and remarking that he (less than 8 years old by the way), used to act that way when he was smaller.

That marks him a good deal more mature than many in this world, and me from time to time.

One bad trait which I have worked on out-growing, though occasionally lapse into every now and then, is, well... hate.

I talk now in broad terms, but I am Rand the Great and Glorious! That is to say, I strive to know and understand grand things, and few things are grander than the image of God, which can be found in every human soul, and so I talk now in broad terms of hate and love (and Love Divine), but only because these are necessary to capture the infinite (is it truly infinite? No, not going to talk about that now) complexities of the human spirit.

Anywho, with hate, let me say now that I can sympathize with hate. It is immensely romantic to have an enemy. Actually back in the day (by which I mean when I was 5 or 6), I drew upon a vaguely defined incident (from about 4 or 5 or so (perhaps pre-schoolish)) where I was bit by some kid (let's call him Kid A (just because it gives me a shout-out to Radiohead, whose infinite mopiness makes them a bit off of my taste, but who I must admit are immensely good rockers)), and dwelling upon my biting by Kid A, I pretended he was my arch-nemesis who I had every right to despise. I went even further in my imaginary adventures, where often I was a superhero or secret agent of some kind, and pretended Kid A was some sort of super-villain.

Now despite the fact that this kid was only part of my life for I think 1 year of pre-school, I thought my utter hatred of him was well-known and respected within my house. However, one day, when I was 5-ish, I was drawing a map of my speculation of Kid A's location in order to think of ways to curtail his activities, (imaginary adventure, people, just an imaginary adventure, for now...), and my brother stumbled upon me and asked me what I was up to. I mentioned then Kid A and my conception of him, and my brother then surprised me by telling me that despite being bitten by him, Kid A had actually been one of my best friends in my pre-school/pre-pre-school years (really when you're <=5 or 6 you bite everything or everyone, least that was the way I grew up, we worked hard and we bit hard! (only when we were <= 5 or 6, maybe 7, and then there was that time last year in Uruguay...)).

This stunned me, and my mind reeled, and... well I don't remember exactly what I thought then because this was about 17 years ago. But anywho, it speaks to the folly of hate, or at least arch-villain-ship. But my further experience reinforced the former lesson (and also taught me that arch-villains can be your friends). Most directly, I received constant lessons by my parents/school/Church about how hate was bad and love was good. I believed it, more or less. Yet observing those around me, and TV, books+ pop-culture, I suspected that while the general case was love-good, hate-bad, I was allowed a little hate.

Now middle school shattered that. In middle school, almost every year I found a few kids who bugged the crap out of me. They were generally semi-cool kids who teased certain people relentlessly, with on occasion me/my friends being among those people. Sometimes this teasing fit perfectly into my own growing paranoia/self-hatred/depression, well, my developing mental illness, so much so that these semi-bullies became representatives for all my problems with self-esteem.

And it was easy to hate them. Because upon them I could throw all my issues with my unstable mind, and I could then pretend that the problems were finite and external... and would someday go away. But this required me to actually commit the deed of hating. And I did.

The exact details of my hatred are complex and confused, but in short, yes it felt good to hate sometimes. Indeed, it made me feel strong and powerful, to feel that rush of passionate emotion. But in the end, it removed me from the better parts of myself.

When my thoughts were circling around hate, they were less inclined to find the beauty in a summer day, less inclined to realize the creative potential in an interesting event, less inclined to return to the beauty of love. Hate is sin in the purest sense, it is distance from God.

Eventually, I realized I shouldn't think about all this. It was pointless, self-defeating, and distracted me from the real issues of my mental health and my potential to do good with my life, and my potential to enjoy life as well.

Middle school is about 10-12 years in the past for me now. My memory is a bit hazy. But I don't think it was really for idealistic reasons I chose to move beyond hate, I think it was just pragmatism. I was tired of hating.

And then high school came, and I thought about and learned about love in a more profound sense, and advanced my spirituality and my emotional maturity, and became more and more convinced in the centrality of the essence of Love, which is God.

And then somehow, mostly without intending it, mostly without noticing it at first, I began befriending my old enemies. One in particular became a close friend because we both liked comp sci and were in the same class. And then my hate seemed so pathetic.

Even those I hated were carved in the image of God. Everyone, sometimes in tragic ways, has some of the infinite beauty of God. How can you hate that?

But I do at times. Sometimes I feel hate creep back into me. But then I clear my mind and force it away. Because I can be better than that, and I can choose love instead, maybe not just with my own strength, but with God's help all is possible.

Love is always possible.

Anywho, that's more than enough for today, so take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

And God Bless.

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