I won’t pretend I’m not heartbroken. Because I am. I firmly accept the fact that we are all imperfect humans. We screw up, all of us. We make mistakes, all of us. None of us has room to point fingers at anyone else. But I also accept that there is a difference between an isolated mistake and a longterm pattern of behavior. While anyone can make a mistake, it takes intent to make the same “mistake” repeatedly. And when that “mistake” knowingly causes harm to others, it’s no longer a simple mistake.
I have always known I’m a bit of an odd duck. Being left handed gives you one of your first clues in life that the world isn’t as welcoming as we might like; for us southpaw’s, everything’s backwards.
I have made my personality situation worse by not being super-social. I’ve always considered myself to be socially obtuse, because when others were doing one thing, I seemed to be doing something else. I freely admit that I don’t “get” a lot of the social obligations that friends and family seem so committed to.
My solution to a lot of life’s bumps has been to remain blindly optimistic about almost everything. Learning to be a good reader taught me that there isn’t anything I couldn’t do if I could read; and learning that I could do anything kept impediments along the way from discouraging me. I just chug along on my one-track minded way of looking at things.
I have not been without great disappointments in life. Some I’ve handled better than others; all have thrown me for a loop; but after each one I have picked up my ego/pride/courage/or whatever it might have been that was disappointed and moved on. I admit to having issues with strangers, and it takes a long time for new people in my life to gain a real sense of trust.
The thing about being disappointed by people is that disappointment generates cynicism. I struggle with cynicism. I am an idealist. I can’t help it. It’s in my genes. I never wanted to substitute mere practicality for an optimum choice. A lot of people think I’m a fool because of that; I’m not being realistic, I’m not being practical. That’s Ok. I don’t mind.
The consequence is that most of life’s disappointment center on why other people can’t look beyond pure self-interest and see a bigger, wider, world that would benefit everyone if we all acted a little more kindly towards one another. Hence, my pacifism about which I have written several times.
My current state of mind arises out of the whole “treating other people as we want to be treated” thing. It’s a simple principle, favored and taught by a lot of the world’s religions in one way or another: we all would be better off if everyone did things to others in a way that they themselves would choose to be treated. I cannot think of any activity that would be less if we did this — well, not any activity other than Capitalism. Capitalism is all about getting everything you can for yourself, which by definition means not giving others as much as they are worth, or as they deserve.
I left jobs when management was abusive. I changed friendships because of prejudice and bias. For 35 years our family owned a small property that we managed in such a way as to be fair to the tenants as well as to ourselves as owners. We didn’t make quite as much money, but we saw our tenants as friends who deserved the same things we looked for ourselves. We treated them as we wanted to be treated.
Recently, a new acquaintance of mine has been shown to be not quite who they appear to be. I knew there was a huge difference between our lifestyles but I was happy to give them props for success even though little things would pop up that seemed not to fit within their story. Still, I don’t have a lot to do with them, and they seemed to be “good people”, so what the heck. It was no loss to me to be happy for them.
…Then I ran smack dab into Public Record. Nothing they revealed themselves. They may not even know I’m party to their secret. But numerous sources confirmed a decades long pattern of behavior that triggered my cynicism once again and broke my heart all over again.
For me, this could not have happened at a worse time. The past 2 years have been so full of political lies that this personal disappointment is almost more than I can bear. I hate how self-serving this country has become.
I remember a time when there were idealists, when there were philosophers, when there were actual Statesmen, not just self-serving career swindlers; when ideas were valued and where rigorous thought and argument went into refining and perfecting ideas that aimed at bettering the world and the people in it. Nowadays, the only thing that seems to matter to the majority of people in the public eye is “how much.” And I’m sick to death of a society where “truth” is only what is convenient for me to say today, or what keeps me from suffering the consequences of my own actions. I find it all quite disgusting, but it’s the world around us and I’m heartsick.
I’ve always known I wasn’t of this world, but once again reality has come along to bite me and remind me that I live by faith, not by sight; that someone else’s bad behavior does not mean I have to behave badly myself; that ideas and ideals are worth having; and that the sum of human existence has nothing to do with one’s bank account.
I may be heartbroken, but there is one whose healing balm is stronger than any doubts or disappointments I may suffer. There is one who is always faithful.
It’s painful having your heartbroken. But it’s better than not being aware, than not caring, than being blind, and hard and careless. The sweetest things in life are made sweeter by the sorrows. So, I guess if you want to feel real elation you have to be willing to shed a few tears.
It’s important to accept the world that is, not the one you wish existed.