Hey all --
For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know that my link to a picture posted by a friend mine sort of says it all: "Never sacrifice who you are just because someone else has a problem with it."
As we get closer to 2012, I can only hope that we all can abide by this all-too-simple rule of life. When other people have problems with us simply being who we are, they lead us to a crossroads: Should we admit that they know best, and that we're just simply subpar individuals who don't deserve respect? Or should we refuse to let them beat us just because they have issues?
The sad fact is that no matter how nice we are, how friendly we are, how good-looking or popular we might be (if that's the case), or how wealthy and "on top of things" we are, not everyone will like us. Even if you do nothing wrong at all, someone else may very well still have a problem with you, simply because they don't like you.
Guess what, that's their right. Nobody is forcing you to love and worship people you don't like, so how can you expect them to shower you with love? If they don't like you, that's their business. Thing is, it's only their business -- don't buy into it!
Also, they need to realize that such dislike must also be tempered with respect. That means they don't have the right to bash you, bully you, isolate you, defame you, or harass you. If they are, you must set them straight and protect yourself.
That being said, as I've previously mentioned in this blog, we don't live in a comic book, or in a Sylvester Stallone movie. We can't whip out a Jesse Ventura gun and kill them all when they screw with us. Sometimes we have to use our heads first.
It might be that if you stand your ground against some miscreant or gangster, and you don't keep your head, you might find yourself without money or a place to live. If that's the case, you must either (a) temporarily take it on the chin, while actively finding a new source of income or a new home; or (b) be prepared to do without income or a home for an indefinite period of time, while continuing to find a better life.
There are many of us out there who re-define the words "tough" and "resilient," and have no problem choosing choice (b). However, common sense tells me that choice (a), despite the fact that it forces us to temporarily endure treatment we don't deserve, is the smarter choice to make. This is because it prevents us from allowing our aggression to ruin the entire situation.
And let's be objective: As intolerable as bullying is, and always will be, life could still be worse. You're not in a concentration camp, you haven't had limbs removed from your body, and you're not in jail. Imagine how it would feel if you were in either of those messes!
At the very least, choice (a) gives you time to think: Time to plan your next response, your next maneuver, and your next counterstrike. And you can also plan for what the main character in "Quantum Leap" forever searched for: the final leap home!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not going soft on the bullies and thugs who try to siphon off our self-esteem and usurp our power. I'm telling you all to be smart in your dealings with them. If they have enough legitimate power to hurt you, no matter how right you are, then be careful. You won't be sacrificing who you are by any means. If anything, you'll be preserving your rights to continue being who you are, free from those who don't think anything's wrong with disrespecting you. Just watch yourself to make sure that they, and not you, are on the receiving end of something unpleasant!
Feel free to comment, all!