Saturday, November 14, 2009

To conquer others is to have power. To conquer yourself...

I could spend less time criticising others and more time improving myself but what fun would that be?

I was so angry when I read a girl's comment on Facebook comparing Kristen Stewart's acting performance in Twilight to the way someone with Down Syndrome behaves. So it's not enough that anti-semitism and homophobia are common inspirations for insults, now we have to bring in people born with debilitating intellectual and physical attributes? Someone pointed out to me recently that I used the word "lame" on this blog and for that I am truly sorry. If it could ever upset someone the way that one sentence written on a website for the entire world to see upset me then ... well, I don't even know how it would make me feel. I can't fathom the kind of pain this abuse of language inflicts on others.

And I can't continue to smile and nod and go against my nature simply because I think it will help my life and make things easier for me. The honour in that is non-existent. Recently I just stood by and listened to a woman at work talk about how homeless people don't try hard enough and I hated myself for doing so. Like all of the other people who were a part of that discussion I ignored her statement; I just went on talking and acted as though I'd accepted what she said as though there was nothing wrong with her viewpoint. I don't normally assume the "I'm right, you're wrong" perspective but in situations like this I don't think a generalisation like that woman's has any real validity. I should have opposed her but selfishness and a distorted idea of self-preservation had me holding my tongue.

I don't understand how comparing someone to a person with Down's Syndrome is funny. I also don't understand how it is an insult. I mean, my nephew is just one of the many incredible people who has this condition and, frankly, anyone being placed in the same category has no right to feel slighted. Similarly, to say making a home for yourself on the streets every day and every night is easier than living with the security and comfort of having a house and all the security that goes with it is beyond forgivable.

My anger does not make me an ideal candidate for discussing this, only a very willing one. I'm afraid of the words I will use if I end up confronting people about the way they talk and the people it affects. I have to hope that I can keep my composure long enough to articulate my viewpoint without giving in and being aggressive and, above all, offensive; the same crime I have charged them with.

As I said before, I am far from innocent. Perhaps my anger would have been better off directed at myself. But I did what I always do which is work through my emotions through writing about them and hopefully discovering a way to be less ... thoroughly insane in the process.

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