Hello Peeps! It's about that time again.
In this week's Bible portion, our heroes keep messing up again.
Joseph was, you guessed it, a favorite son. The son that Israel/Jacob conceived with Rachel, his intended bride, blessed by Israel over the other 11, rockin' the multicolored toga. So what does he do with his most-favored status?
He flaunts it, probably unintentionally, in his family's face. He dreams about his brothers' sheaves bowing down to his, and then about the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowing before him . . . and then foolishly tells everyone! So bad that his brothers dump him in a pit and lie to Israel, telling him that he was killed by a wild animal. Say it ain't so, Joe.
So then he gets sold to a high-ranking Egyptian, and his wife decides to "flirt with the pool boy." Of course, when it becomes his word against hers, her word counts, and he gets thrown in jail.
So, as luck would have it, his cell mates turn out to be Pharaoh's wine distiller and baker, both of whom have their own dreams. So Joseph, having a knack for all this, interprets them to mean that the distiller will be restored to his former station, but that the baker will be executed. And wouldn't you know, Captain Paumanok really does get his job back, while Poppin' Fresh gets popped.
(most people gloss over the innuendo in Judah's house in Chapter 38. I don't blame them)
What makes people, such as Joseph, better than anyone else? Could be a lot of things. When people start talking about how super cool and snazzy jazzy they are, it's very easy to interpret this positive statement as something negative. What, your (sweat) doesn't stink? Think you're so much better than us? What a narcissist!
Did he really mean it? Maybe, maybe not. Those two dreams made it pretty obvious that he expected his 11 brothers to acknowledge him as superior. We don't know about the other brothers talking down to him before all these dreams happened, so maybe he wasn't trying to prove himself to them. Maybe he naively thought that since his father treated him like he was special, that he wasn't causing trouble by acting special. Maybe his father, who was also far from perfect, could have 'splained him that acting like you're better than the rest of your brothers wouldn't endear him to them.
Lately, I've been tweeting about the alphaganda. This story ties in with that concept. Trash-talking about your wonderful strengths and everyone else's weaknesses, telling other people that they are less than you, and expecting everyone to become your sychophant, follower, and hanger-on, even with no ill intent, is a gross miscalculation. Yes, we do see people who become famous with this attitude, and yes, there are tons of yes-men and boot-lickers to keep reinforcing this misperception. But apparently the lesson Joseph needed to desperately learn was that flagrantly announcing your perceived superiority to everyone else, and expecting them all to acknowledge it, does not engender respect, or love, or anything close.
Even if the sports statistics, profit/loss margin, and percentage of gorgeous young honeys available prove that you really are superior in some way, that doesn't mean that rubbing it in someone else's face makes it even better. If you really are that super-awesome, then your accomplishments should speak for themselves, and the adoring public should be able to perceive them standing alone. Unless you are employed by Vince McMahon to spew these types of statements into a microphone before your match starts, you never tell someone that you're the top and that they're less than you.
And for those on the other side of the fence who feel miffed by this display of cockiness, you've got your own work to do. Just because someone else may or may not be better at something than you are, why let that crap get under your skin? Chances are, you didn't even care about whatever he was better at until you heard him thumping his chest about it. And if he really is better than you at it, why not just let him have his stupid little prize? Why should you feel inadequate or jealous just because he's running his mouth? Yeah, it may sound like annoying mom-and-dad stuff to hear, but chances are you have strengths that homeboy doesn't even come close to matching! Screw what that blowhard, loud mouth, BS artist is saying. He's got no clue!
And if he does it too many times, then maybe . . . maybe maybe maybe, just maybe . . . it's OK to call him out on it. What's the worst he could do, talk about himself even more? The other 11 dudes got so fed up with Joseph that they dumped him in a hole. You don't need to go to that extreme, but if he crosses the last boundary, there's nothing wrong with having the fortitude to say, "Enough already!" Just because he speaks the loudest and sounds the most annoying, that doesn't mean he gets to make the rules. He doesn't decide what's cool and what's not -- it's your life, so you do!!!!
Ummmm, Dave? I think you just combined the Bible post with your regular inspirational message. If you're not careful, they'll think this is only a religious-based blog.
Thanks for the heads up -- but on the bright side, I got the message out with one post instead of two! Ain't that a pip!
That's what I have, Thanksgiving is coming up. That is to say, Thanksgiving, and not Five Weeks Till Xmas So Start Buying Crap!
Enjoy . . . .