I never understood that kind of obligation. I understand feeling obligated to be a decent person, to be supportive when someone needs it, or upholding vows, but not feeling obligated to spend time with people that make us unhappy. After a few decades, weíll kinda get a sense of what most people are about, and if those people donít generally make us happy, why do it? Yeah, all relationships have their ups and downs, there are arguments and misunderstandings. There are times when things are just inexplicably cool between two people. It makes sense to weather that kind of stuff, but not if itís bad most of the time.
I guess like food-guilt, there are some things that donít make sense to me. Perhaps itís because I grew up in a family that had no sense of loyalty or obligation to one another.
When I knew her, I didnít know people well enough to make that kind of judgment, beyond the simplistic judgments I made about classmates (that person is mean, that person is nice, etc).
Iíve mentioned this several times before, but itís a favorite story of mine. Once she told me that her only regret in life was that she waited too long to start sticking up for herself. For years, she suffered in silence, too shy or afraid to tell people what she wanted. As she got older, she got braver, and found herself much happier and satisfied with life.
I suppose that one could conclude that if you want people to post about your legendary sweetness decades after youíve died of cancer, then yes, not sticking up for yourself might be the way to go. I saw her working to find a balance, though. She was learning to express desires and opinions with compassion. She was figuring out how to not be steam rollered without being a steam roller, herself.
I took that lesson to heart. Itís amazing how smallest things can have the biggest impact on a kid. Something as small as that may have eventually led me to decide that itís ok to give up a steady, stable, well-paying job to pursue something that will be unsteady, unstable, probably badly-paying, but ultimately, fulfilling.
|Friday, Mar. 02, 2012 at 12:37 PM|