jeudi, mai 26, 2011
Shall the meek inherit? Not this earth
I wish I could do a social experiment. Just be a mean, nasty "slut" (take THAT, Ed Schultz) for a day, and see if it gets me anywhere.
Let me walk you into my head -- well, the part of my mind that is currently public territory.
You really don't want to come in past the atrium -- spring cleaning this year is a little late.
I've already owned up to being nice -- looking for the best in others, worrying if I have inadvertently offended someone, trying to be the first to make amends. I can't decide if this is a virtue or sheer gutlessness.
Sometimes I think it is both. Sometimes if you expect the best of people, they perform up to your expectations, because it's just so freaking embarrassing not to do that.
But what I've asked myself a lot recently is -- does it confer some kind of evolutionary advantage to be trample on other people's feelings? Aren't those the people who get ahead in this world? Until they push it too far, like Newt Gingrich and John Edwards, and are tripped up by their own selfishness.
Of course, this is a question, going back at least to the author of the Psalms, that has no good answer.
And I don't have one either -- so you are seeking answers, you need read no further.
My son has a friend...let me put that word in quotes.
Yes, that looks better.
He and Mr. C are in the same classes. He's good at baseball, my son at chess. They are both smart, successful, and generally funny kids. They share a posse.
But this teenage torturer tells my son he's fat (since Mr. C had a stomach problem last year, he's been too thin). He calls the boy stupid. Somehow my son ends up as the butt of numerous class jokes instigated by his "friend."
Let me say right off that I don't know if the torment goes both ways -- the tables may be turned, and often. Who the heck knows?
And it doesn't seem to bug Mr. C., who reports it with a good-natured attitude that is almost admiring.
It only bothers me when he refers to himself as fat.
I worry that I've passed my inborn faith in our capacity to "rise above" on to him -- and that he's going to be screwed by it.
My daughter, on the other hand, while equally polite, is excellent at working the odds in her favor. While she isn't a "mean girl," she has discovered how to punch the right buttons, both at home and in school.
Equally smart, she has pitched so many stories to school officials and therapists that professionals with years of experience often have a dazed look when they share her latest homework or classwork excuse in parent's meetings.
Not doing her homework isn't going to help her in the long run, though.
On the other hand, this kind of canny behavior may convey an evolutionary advantage. She might become a lawyer -- or a politician.
I just wish she had better role models.
It probably does help if you are a little tough around the edge. Not so hard and hypocritical, though, as to abuse campaign funds to support your mistress -- or so incredibly stupid as to have a $500,00 revolving line of credit at expensive jewelry stores.
There! How am I doing? There's more where that came from.
But let me apologize first.