Saturday, December 22, 2012
The Talk Show Guest
I just watched a disturbing interview on a talk show, where I was appalled at how disrespectful and vulgar the guest was. As I formulated my thoughts into “Wow… what a disgusting guy” I of course thought to myself, “Wait… Acceptance…” So the question is: How do I apply acceptance when I really don’t agree with someone’s views, language and behaviors like that? How can I come to a place within myself where I don’t get upset about it?
I guess this is where I talk myself out of my feelings of repulsion. For starters, I don’t have to like or agree with anything about the guest. However, I need to remember that everyone is on their own path, like I keep saying. But how else do I think about this in order to move towards acceptance?
Sometimes I feel like in order to accept people for their character flaws and mistakes, I have to pity them, or look down on them in some way. I know that’s not right, and I don’t like it, but it feels like that is better than feeling anger and disgust towards them, and I really didn’t see any other way to look at it in the past. I wasn’t even able to successfully implement that technique, which is good, because it is wrong. Acceptance is so much harder. It is a lot of mental work. Come to think of it, it may be harder with strangers or acquaintances than it is with loved ones, because you have no way of knowing or understanding where they came from that led them to the path and decisions that made them who they are. And here we go – my downfall. I always have to know everything. I have to know all the details, figure someone or something out, and then verify all the answers. That’s how I work, and it has been to my detriment in the past, because sometimes you don’t get to know all the details, and sometimes, even if you figure something out, you’ll never get the confirmation that you are right or wrong. Still, life goes on, and I have to break from the obsession of figuring things out and determining if I was right or not.
This is a perfect example. This talk show guest has had a life I will never know about. I will never know what makes him tick. What I can know for sure, is that some set of experiences led him to become the person he is. His environment, the influential adults around him, his peers and society along with his own manner of absorbing the influences of everything around him sculpted him into the person he is today. He is not a victim, nor is he a horrible human being. He just is. He is the sum of all the parts that make up his life. That actually does make me want to pity him a little bit. The guy basically insulted his wife and children. It doesn’t appear as though he appreciates them. Or, you know what, I can’t conclude that. The guy is a comedian. He could just be desperate for laughs, and knocked down his family in order to build himself up to the audience. It didn’t work… the audience felt the awkwardness. But I can’t judge him on a short interview, can I? Maybe nervousness, desperation for laughs, and some underlying frustrations with the current state of his life gave way to 10 minutes of word vomit filled with vulgar comments. Perhaps some of those comments were due to his environment and everything, and really, I won’t ever know the whole story. Deep down inside, he must want what we all want. He just has a funny way of expressing it. He doesn’t know any better. Sometimes simple feelings and messages get contorted when they navigate through the twisted, rough road beaten into us by life. Along the way life taught us not to show certain emotions, to present other emotions in a certain way, etc. The message may not look the same when it finally presents itself, because of all the wear and tear from the journey from the mind to the outside world. In this case, a decent message may be there, somewhere, it’s just hard to find in the complexities of his comedy and whatnot. Anyway, he said a lot of disrespectful things, and he used a lot of vulgar terminology, but he probably isn’t as evil as my mind makes him out to be – he probably just uses words he hears every day, and was desperate for some laughs and pulled out some cheap cracks. That’s it.
Wow. Much better. Yeah, blogging this stuff out helps.