You Should Write A Book
"You should write a book," he said.
“A book?” I thought, I laughed out loud and called him an asshole in a joking manner.
It was funny or supposed to be funny right? I wasn’t sure, it was a family vacation and there was family around and nobody said otherwise. But I laughed, I was the only one who laughed and then retreated to bed. But later I received an apology from someone who was sure I deserved one. So it was not a joke, and why did I feel bad?
This was one of those many encounters that I’ve dealt with for a large part of my life, oh who am I kidding, all my life. All your life too most likely, when you’re not quite sure if a person is making a joke at your expense or to brighten you up. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who expects a lot of people, but some actions are part of those general expectations of humanity. One of these expectations being that amidst the consistent chaos that will inflict their astringent fingers upon our souls, we must remember to always first consider empathy. It is at its most basic level, a simple gesture that when lacking can begin a human catastrophe. However, it can also be the antidote that cures the incurable and sets in motion the stance that saves a nation. It allows you to see beyond the logic that binds the eyes of many minds, and opens the fabric of dignified life. When I say dignified, I only mean that pleasurable humility felt when one discards the many supposed compromises of life. It is ignoring that the homeless man might purchase a beer with the money you give him and giving it to him anyway. It is the neo hippie’s explanation to the adage which is turning the other cheek.
Not too many people do that anymore it seems, turn the other cheek. Unfortunately, life tends to take this path where a person experiences so much grief and injustice off the hands of peers, even family that the heart starts to retain love. Your heart, or soul, or spirit, is there to give love, use love, push love through. There is a constant flow of love through the heart, but hate and bitterness stops the love, and the heart begins to retain it. Where no longer is there a movement of in or out, and love stops leaving due to the perception that love was not entering, a seemingly harsh reality can cause anyone to retain love. You see, it is not a good thing to retain something that needs to be circulated, because then, the heart starts to die. In that way is how I understand why people stop turning the other cheek, why they stop empathizing. It becomes about why they should give when they aren’t getting. And in that, what should be empathy becomes apathy, becomes atrophied.
Will Smith's Great Advice on Life
So back to “You should write a book”, when I laughed out loud and called him an asshole that was my cheek being turned. Because for me, I empathized with the attempt at a joke in such a tensed atmosphere. The recognition led to the affirmation that for one to even begin such a feat as to make anyone laugh or even cringe, they must be brave. Although this bravery could have easily been misplaced for idiocy, it lacked the contempt usually left for glorified bullying, so to speak. I chose to believe there was no malice, and I let go of the beginning churn of anger in order to experience that pleasurable humility of empathy. And the irony in all this is that, I have been told to write a book before, but I’d never taken it seriously until that very moment when it might have been an ill-intentioned joke.
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