Sunday, June 1, 2014

No Time to Compare, to Rate, to Preach, to Show

It's so late yet I'm putting this down now because it's foremost in my mind.

You know that old feeling of inferiority? Or superiority? That feeling that comes based on comparing yourself to others?

I think about that lyric I wrote a few weeks ago - that song called "Not My Problem." In retrospect, it's kind of a berating lyric. It highlights all the infighting, the negativity, the true experience of human garbage people experience throughout their lives. It's a song about animosity in general, and about ignorance. And it does nothing but angrily point it out, all at once, in a preachy way.

Maybe I'm being harsh. I haven't gone back to re-read it. Those words aren't a final product - just what I came up with as the general idea and meaning. The music is there, has been there since early last year. But in the end, I still come up with pompous preachiness when I think about it.

It's quite obvious, when you compare yourself to someone else, all you do is give reason to make yourself feel miserable or swelled up. That's where I think some of that lecturing comes from; I feel that I am not ignorant or stupid or just low, so I can lecture others that I perceive are because I'm better. That's not remotely the case.

There's the reason that song lyric isn't a product. After all, everyone is the same at the end of the day - I've made stupid mistakes, I've been rude, I've put people right off a lot of times. Half the time I don't intend to, but there is no doubt that in my twenty-three years (almost), I've intentionally acted in some way that has served to give people grief or a negative experience. There isn't a human being on this planet that hasn't been or acted in a selfish way, or forgotten their manners, or acted unnecessarily impatient. I'm like that with my mother all the time, impatient.

The point is that it's fine to lecture when a time or reason allows for it, it's fine to advocate for kindness and to point out (to an extent, and only necessarily) someone's mistakes or blind spot or negative quirk, but at the same time, you can never divorce yourself from that same behaviour. Everyone has to improve in some area of their lives. No one's perfect. And just because someone has reached a milestone before you have doesn't mean they're better in any way, nor does it give reason to compare. They're different, not dumb or better or whatever.

In finishing, I realize I'm sort of 'preaching' or 'lecturing' in this very post right now - but at the same time, I've pointed out my own flaws. I'm working on them. This year's different. Unlike the past four years in which every day or month was a lame-duck affair with no stimuli or relationships (of any kind), it's like I've somehow pushed the fast-forward button on my outlook, attitude, engagement and will to change in several ways. I'm considering joining an independent writer's group based in the city; I've got my piano lessons. I've been outgoing at work and looking at ways to improve certain aspects of my life in general. 2014 is the year I finally switched from negative fatalistic pessimism to positive outgoing, engaging easiness. It's working.

Still, I'm not perfect, and no one else is. Keep an open mind. Thanks for reading.

Justin C.

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