My inclination is to start this journey with a few words about the wisdom of stirring the pot but before I do I think my friend Mr. Twain has some words to share:
After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.
– “Adam’s Diary”
Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.
– Notebook, 1903; Mark Twain, a Biography
More than one person has accused me of being a scoundrel, a rogue and or worse. I haven’t always chosen to acknowledge or respond to these descriptions, sometimes because I knew my mood was dark and my inclination was to leave scorched earth and sometimes because it wasn’t worth it.
Other times it was because I knew with complete certainty that my silence frustrated them more than my words could and that was enough to move me to remain placid in their presence.
Some have accused me of being foolish for not caring enough about the feelings of others to worry about my words and deeds. Others have praised it and said they wish they could choose a similar path but that is not something I ever advocate because it is more important to be you than me.
The Arrogance Of Man
The arrogance of man might suggest that we act as we do because we know that our way is better than another.Â I don’t necessarily disagree with that, at least not in its entirety. I don’t believe in moral equivalency and that every belief is equal in value because it was created by man.
Look at the behavior in the last post and you’ll see examples of behavior that is reprehensible and is definitely not something that should be promoted. Granted the advocates of those who follow those lines of thought might disagree, but they would be wrong. 😉
All of which leads me to a thought about some events from today and life in general.
Stirring The Pot
I was part of a group discussion earlier today in which someone asked if I had made a comment to be an assholeÂ or because I wanted to be a troll.
The purpose wasn’t to be an asshole or a troll. It was to stir the pot and generate discussion about some things that I found irritating. It would be fair to suggest my words weren’t carefully chosen and that some people might react strongly.
I won’t take time to try and spin that. Even though I didn’t mention anyone by name I can see how some people would be offended but I am not going to apologize for their hurt feelings any more than I will refrain from trying to spin what happened.
Sometimes when you want people to think about why they think a certain way or adhere to certain ideals you have to do more than just ask.Â Sometimes you have to push hard enough to get their attention and hold it.
What Happens When Someone Else Tries To Take The Spoon
Midway through the general merriment a newcomer to the discussion tried to take the spoon from my hands but they did so in a passive-aggressive fashion. They made comments that were clearly directed at me but didn’t call me by name.
Some years ago I would have welcomed their attention and responded with the written form of a mailed fist. I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider it but I chose not to because I didn’t see what would be gained from doing so.
It seemed smarter to wait and see if this individual really wanted to engage me. Poke the bear with a stick and eventually he will come out of the cave with malicious intent.
But things settled down and he refrained from continuing so I have remained silent.
Ultimately my focus isn’t to engage in the sort of written hijinks that I enjoyed when I was younger but to see if my pot stirring leads to any change or at least insight. I thought the discussion that resulted was pretty good and though I haven’t changed my mind I did hear some compelling reasons why I should and that alone is beneficial so I am grateful for it.