Words are powerful. They can build up, and they can tear down. A careless comment can profoundly hurt in ways the speaker never intended, or, perhaps, way worse is to purposely hurt another. For many years now, for as long as I can remember, I have never really cared what people think about me. As it is often said, your opinion about me is none of my business. And it should not matter what people say or think about you; what matters is what you say and think about yourself. I happen to know who I am and what matters to me. And if you don’t like it or don’t agree with my beliefs, I’m okay with that. It simply does not matter to me. The same goes for you and your beliefs…we do not have to agree, and I don’t think it should matter to you if I think differently than you do. Live and let live is my motto. I am very careful when I speak because I know that while it is possible to forgive something said in anger or even carelessly, it is never possible to un-hear it, or un-read it, if sent in a letter or email.
What I do NOT understand is why so many people seem to be threatened by those of us who hear the beat of a different drum? Why must everyone be exactly the same? Are you trying to tear me down to build yourself up? Are you unhappy in your own life and somehow think that insulting me will make your life better?
I think that most people think they are unique, that there is something in them that makes them different from anyone else. Most people do not go around thinking, oh, I’m just like every other person I know. Quite the opposite, I believe, is true. And yet, if we don’t wear the ‘right’ clothes or drive the ‘right’ car or go to the ‘right’ school we are somehow considered ‘wrong.’ Maybe even worse, we are considered eccentric or weird. Really? REALLY? Case in point, me…I happen to drive a 1996 Volkswagen Golf, model Harlequin Special Edition. My car is one of the rarest VWs ever made. There are only 70 of this version. I love my car, which, by the way, is named Grazelda. Seriously, if ever there was a car that needed a name, it’s my car.
So, if you don’t like me because of the car I drive, I have only two words for you, but because I do my best to be kind, I won’t actually say them. At least not out loud. You better believe I’m thinking them, though. But because my intention is kindness, the first two (unkind) words I thought fade, and the next two I think are, ‘your loss.’ And you are entitled to your opinion, but why do you think it’s okay to blurt it out? Under the guise of ‘helping’ me, it has been suggested that as long as I drive such an automobile, I will never meet a man, because we are judged by others, and with my car, I will be judged as eccentric, and, apparently, no man wants a friend/girlfriend/wife who is seen as eccentric and different. Well, all I can say is if you don’t like me because of Grazelda, you are not the type of person I would want to be friends with, let alone anything more than that. I also have to say that I have never had anyone like me and then ‘meet’ my car and say, oh, sorry, I cannot possible like you anymore because you don’t drive a beige car like half the population. Ridiculous, huh?
For me, it all comes down to…is it kind to say something, and if it isn’t, I DO NOT say it. EVER. Because, as I already said, you can never un-hear something. And as for judging others, as the saying goes:
“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ~Wayne Dyer