I enjoy a good rant. Sometimes I rant quietly to myself while I drive or in my head while a particularly annoying person is standing in front of me. I can smile and be polite while mentally slicing someone into pieces verbally.
I have always admired people who seem to be able to maintain their calm during complete chaos. I am not that person. My dearest friends know me well. I am not the friend you call when you are angry and need someone to listen, but talk you out of telling someone what you think of them. I am the friend you call when you need someone to talk you into doing something you know needs to be done, but you don’t quite have the nerve to do it.
I am not the friend you call when someone has hurt you badly but you’ve already decided to take him back. I’m the friend you call when you need help packing his things into trash bags and tossing them into the yard.
I will be on your side. I will support your decision. I will be righteously indignant on your behalf. I will help you move. I do not cope well with whining or complaining when you’re not willing to do anything about your situation. Compassion I have. Empathy I can feel. Sympathy is within my grasp. It’s understanding and forgiveness that I struggle with.
If one of my friends told me she was being abused, I would drive to her home, pack her things, load them into my car and remove her from the situation. I would not be afraid of her abuser as I am not afraid of cowards. I would give her a place to stay until she could get on her feet. I would not, however, be the person she needed to tell if she wasn’t willing to do anything about it. Do you see the differentiation there?
One thing I have learned about myself over the years is that no matter how hard I try to be the person that can sit and listen and not take action, I usually fail. I’m also not a person who can listen to irrational fears and reassure you repeatedly without losing my patience. If you get a letter in the mail with potentially bad news and you want to sit and worry about it and never call to find out what’s going on then please don’t tell me about it. I have more important things to do than sit and wring my hands. If you want someone to call them for you and find out what’s going on then let me know. I’m all over it.
If someone is stealing your paper every morning and you want it put to a stop then let me know. If you tell me you saw “Harry” down the street come by and take your paper three mornings in a row and how angry you are about it, but you don’t want anything done then don’t tell me about it. (Personally, I think the “Hi, Harry, how are you enjoying your stolen newspaper?” note in large red lettering in the middle of the newspaper was a brilliant idea). He stopped stealing your newspaper didn’t he?
Someone once asked me what my biggest pet peeve is. I could name several pet peeves. People who are so stupid they think they’re smart. People who skate by and want to point out everyone else’s mistakes. People who believe they are special and deserve special treatment. Rude individuals who mistake manners and compassion for weakness. Immoral people who mistake immorality for enlightenment. My biggest pet peeve though? I think that would have to be the people that tell me I don’t have a right to tell all those other people what I think of them. There’s compassion and then there’s being a sheep. If a lot more people don’t start speaking their minds and stop laying down and letting people walk all over them then there will be no good people left.
The animal kingdom would never tolerate some of the behavior we tolerate in the name of “being human”. Ants are small creatures who work as a team and work hard for everything they have. As individuals they couldn’t survive. As a group they are mighty. Let’s say that another animal who was lazy and only after what the ants had pushed his way in and attacked one of them. The others wouldn’t sit around and watch it happen. The others would defend their own and what they had worked for. They wouldn’t sit around and talk about how they owed the intruder a living and how society was to blame for his actions. No, he would be pushed out and left to his own devices to survive or not. I’m not saying we shouldn’t help those in need. Don’t misunderstand me. I firmly believing in helping those who cannot help themselves. I’m just sick and tired of helping those who won’t help themselves and yet want everything the rest of us have worked for.
Just sayin’. Maybe I’m wrong. You tell me. I’m done ranting now.