mardi, juillet 28, 2009

Snob alert

I have the sense the many of my friends and acquaintances believe that I'm a truly nice person.

Well, maybe on my good days I can aspire to niceness, if that's a positive in a journalistic world in which opinion often seems more valued than fact.

Possibly I'm delusional -- "they" are all saying what a piece of work I am, behind my sweet demeanour.

Someone described me recently in an online forum as "nice" -- frightening. But I'm not -- really!

So I'm having this online conversation recently with a friend about a subject on which we hold positions that are charitably to be described as polar opposites. We go back and forth a few times... then something she writes gets under my skin.

And I, who pride myself on my ability to see multiple points of view, find myself putting pedal to the medal.

Don't mess with me, sister! I'm better educated, better read, and more in command of the basic facts than you are, I tell myself, as though I was back in college, interrupting that smartass kid who always thought he had the answer.

Then I take a deep breath, and assess the possibility that this kind of attitude probably won't be useful in nurturing our friendship. Plus there are many kinds of intelligence. Not to mention I could have a blind spot about this topic.

After backing off, I ask myself -- is there something corrective I can do about being such a darned elitist?

Is this as bad a character flaw as being a racist?

Is it something I need to work on? Can I blame my genes? My teachers? My high school? After all, we were told subtly and not so much, that we were being educated to lead America. When that kind of mantra is inculcated in you at a tender age, do you take the rap for believing that some folks are a bit less ignorant than others?

Yes, I take the rap. After all, I'm all for personal responsibility.

There should be a rule that after 40, you can't blame anything but your wrinkles or nearsightedness or other genetic problems on your ancestors. Everything else -- you broke it, you own it!

Nice, huh?

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