I still am. What’s been done to us was incredibly irresponsible and the excuses from the other side have an intense flavour of “methinks she doth protest too much”.
Still. I am attempting to be a better person. Better than I was. Better than is acceptable these days. I’m not interested in societal norms or established moralities. What I’m looking for is how to actually live in happiness and kindness, wherein one can behave well toward others while still maintaining one’s own needs and wants.
Taoism seems the closest match there, but there’s a passivity there that bothers me. I believe in accountability, and letting everything just be as it is seems like an endorsement of good men doing nothing while evil men take over the world.
I believe in pacifism, though it’s a tenuous belief. I don’t get in fights, I think the only violence that’s okay is in fiction and I’ve never even so much as held a gun in my life. Still, if a Trump or a Putin were to rise up and try to take over my country, I would definitely fight.
I guess I believe in nipping things in the bud early, in setting boundaries early on. I’ve seen firsthand what a lack of consequences can create in a person and it’s not pretty. Some clear lines earlier on would have made for a much different outcome. (See: Trump, Crime Family and boss, my former, the now fired toxic contractor.)
That’s where I seem to be failing in life; perhaps it was my punk rock/anarchist beliefs when I was younger, yearning for total freedom, before I realized there is no freedom without responsibility. Perhaps it was simply a weak will, a man too scared of confrontation to stand up for himself. Passive aggression certainly has been a problem with me in the past, as has self-repression.
Being a better person requires honesty and responsibility. There is no freedom with responsibility and no truth without an open, unjudging honesty. Honesty with perspective. Honesty, perspective, responsibility. These are primary tenets, I suppose, though they may not be the only ones.
So, we opened ourselves up to the others, to be better than those who wronged us by hiding their illness and taking unnecessary risks, and let them know. Our plans are ruined. I have no idea what will happen with my new hire on Monday. We are stuck at home at a time when we really can’t afford to be.
But no one else will get sick from us. The buck stops here.
And no amount of protest will change the culpability of the one who caused this, but that’s her problem. She should be ashamed, but she’s leaning hard into “woe is me” and telling lies about being a super safe hermit when we already know she spent at least five of the last seven nights before us visiting at least a dozen people. And that’s just the stuff we know.
Forgiveness is a part of this. Not forgetfulness, but in order for me to move on, I need to forgive and let it go. Let her wail on about her faux innocence; we haven’t believed her lies for a long time. No need to start now. The exposed hypocrisy suits her, and no amount of protest will gain back the sheen of superiority she’d previously lorded over us.
Anyway. Forgiveness. Deep breaths. Letting go.
Maybe passivity has its uses, if you can forget about all the assholes.
Target: 400 words
Written: 973 words, novella: The Mungk