Friday, August 7, 2009

Carrier of Happiness

So, a few quick updates first. I am tracking my goals, but it is a lot of trouble right now to post on the blog about them. I have not given up, though! There's just too much drama right now.

And, drama and justice are kind of what I feel like talking about. I often don't like talking about these things and try to keep my woes to myself because I feel like it is a horrible burden to lay on others. It is bad enough that Terinati often has to hear me out, very affectionately I may add, but I also generally don't like spreading negativity. It doesn't do anyone any good. There are only two reasons I talk about problems: 1.) to sort it out for myself so that I can come to terms with whatever the resolution will be, and 2.) to attempt resolution.

To me, a resolution should involve justice. It seems that many people have different ideas about what that is, and it's kind of scary to look at, especially when you're studying creepy behavior patterns in social psychology at the same time. To me, it's being fair and reasonable. You can't have a true resolution without it. If you solve a problem based on someone else's lies, it's bound to fall apart eventually, and if you solve a problem by not communicating, then assumptions are going to be made that are hurtful (intrapersonal conflict is the source of most problems, I think).

But what about the people working against justice? I'm not about to say how much I hate you or what horrible people you are, but . . . what I do feel is that I don't understand you. Why is it better to continue a fight, just because you've lost? Why is it better to fight at all? Why are there some of you who don't want to work things out? Why on earth would you not want to resolve things? Why be hurtful?

Actually, I know a lot of the reasons. I've been reading about them for months now in my classes. But, it's still hard for me to accept because I can't be that way, even with years of experience witnessing it firsthand. It occurred to me a few days ago that this has been a constant in my life, to be attacked in one way or another by someone, or a few people at once from different sides. Sometimes it's not an attack, but abandonment for reasons beyond understanding, but that can hurt just as badly. The only thing that has changed is me realizing that I didn't do anything to deserve it after all, nothing I do to change will change how the other parties feel about me because they've made up their minds and are ignoring the facts on top of refusing to communicate to find a solution, and that all I can do is be assertive when I need to be. I'm doing the best I can in life, and that's all I can do. (Do other people go through this? I haven't really met anyone who has, or has been open enough to talk about it.)

And yet, that kind of justice is unsatisfying. The hero in these stories (not just me; I've watched others suffer too) is often quiet when first attacked because they want to give a chance, or see that there is the potential for this person to not be the villain they seem to be. "Don't jump to conclusions, even when all of the facts line up!"

I actually had this problem with a video game I played with my friend Athena, once. Colonel's Bequest. Spoiler warning, in case you want to find this old game and play it 'cause you haven't already (and I think you should! Loved it!)!! Anyway, your best friend is Lillian, and the only reason you get tied up in the mess is because of her. Throughout the game, I thought of her like I would my real life best friend, someone I wanted to protect and felt sorry for . . . when suddenly Athena turns to me and says, "I think she's the killer." I was like, "What? No, that can't be. They're best friends!" Athena kind of went quiet, and I knew she was thinking, "Um, hello?" but she's nice and didn't tell me how dumb I was to my face because we're friends. I mean, people had been talking about Lillian being crazy, the shadow outline even looks like her outline (amongst other clues, like the pink feathers), and now she's sitting in a playhouse with a chalkboard that has a count that matches the number of people who died . . . Yep, totally innocent! :} Keep in mind, I was much younger then, and still very naive about many people! Sure enough, Lillian had been killing off everyone, up to the end when she was killed herself. I wasn't upset that Athena was right, but I still didn't want it to be true. I think all good people are that way sometimes (not to say Athena isn't a good person; she is, most definitely, but she was seeing the facts more clearly than me that day!), but I'm that way all of the time, so I hate seeking justice because then I have to see and often times portray someone in a bad light.

Meanwhile, the villains in these tales tend to see perceived slights that never happen, and because this is the case there is little one can do to fight it; these nonexistant problems don't stop them from making the biggest deal out of nothing at all. How do you fight an imaginary monster that's attacking you? It certainly doesn't give you much to say about it. Imagine being summoned to your HR office and being accused of something that never even occurred to you could be done. The shock is genuine, but, for someone like me who is frequently speechless in front of people who aren't my friends (or online), it looks like the shock and guilt of someone who's been found out.

Thankfully, I've gone beyond this and manage to have a few words, even if they are stupid ones. :} I'm sure I'm not the only person who's been there, though I think most people handle it more gracefully than myself. But, as I walk out the door, or my boss walks away from me, or I finish reading the e-mail, or get off the phone . . . whatever the case may be, I'm left thinking, Why didn't this person just talk to me? This could have been worked out. I'm a sap; I want to get along with everyone. You know that cute little girl who even prison inmates want to be friends with in old 50's shows? A little carrier of joy and happiness, the one who the lion won't even eat because she's so precious? I think somewhere deep down, I want that to be me. :}

Unfortunately, it can't be worked out in those situations, and that will never be me because it doesn't matter what I see, but what others do. Some people won't let go until someone falls in the process. It's really tragic, but that's the way these stories go, isn't it? Either the hero has to win or they have to lose, and the villain will either be left still thinking they were treated unfairly or they'll feel luxurious and cocky in their victory. Where is the justice in either of those?

I don't think there is any. For the person who takes joy in taking someone else go down, I'll admit I'm repulsed by that. I've never felt that way. Thought someone probably deserved something, sure, but never felt happy about it. Even when the hero wins, it's bitter-sweet because something is lost at the same time; good heroes know this.

I don't think justice can exist. The very notion of it defies itself, at least in my imagination. Revenge seems very real, but I'm not partial to that, either. :} Justice through punishment is just another way of commiting revenge and making it sound pretty. Depending on your culture and such, maybe that's the right way for you. For me, I still dream of living in a happy neighborhood with a bunch of kind people, friends included, where we stand up for each other and help each other when needed and make each other smile every day. I fantasize about being able to talk to people as frankly as I do my husband and my best friend, without fear. If there's a problem, we can talk it out. I've been called an idealist, told that I'm naive, but what's so bad about that? Maybe my world wouldn't create justice for those who commit crimes and go out of their way to hurt others . . . but it would be happier, just the same. It's what many people hint at wanting. Things wouldn't have to be perfect; life is more interesting with obstacles to overcome, things to challenge us. But being hurt and hurting other people? That I can do without.

So, to the people who are waging war on me (and others like me), who I know don't even know me well enough to know that this blog exists . . . I refuse to play your game with you, as I have always. Sling your mud, hate and talk about me behind my back all you please, and for a change I'll see you for how you really are. But, I still don't want to be anything like you. I'll stand up for myself, but I'm not going to fight back like that. And, I feel sad and sorry for you for not seeing that it's wrong to hurt people, to take away their sunshine; cruel words can be just as bad as physical abuse, and having experienced both for decades at a time, I can honestly say that the words are worse. Life is too short for unhappiness, especially to be the one causing it.