Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the true nature of people

so i've been thinking about something all day... and it's difficult for me to articulate it in a way that doesn't come across as completely cynical and/or defeatist... but i'm going to attempt this anyway.

the underpinnings of this post basically started with an event today that made me pause and mull over the idea of human nature. oft times you come in contact with people and perhaps know them for years before their "true" colors emerge. perhaps you believe that said people will always treat you and the ones you love with the same respect and care in which you treat them.

what has been disheartening to me is when it becomes readily apparent that this is not the case.

i'll use an inconsequential example to expound upon this thought, and let me emphasize that this example is not the cause of my introspection, nor does it bother me anymore in the slightest; i merely think that it is a useful, less-severe illustration of my point.

months ago i decided to blog about politics. i knew that i was putting myself out there in a very public forum and braced myself for the criticism of others. via the comments of one of these political posts, i became involved in a "discussion" of my political tenets with an anonymous commenter. and i won't lie, it got a little heated. "anonymous" was very critical and condescending and at times combative, which i was actually ok with. who doesn't love a good sparring match? te hee.

until i found out that "anonymous" was someone i knew.

i won't lie to you, i had a difficult time with it. it was hard not to be angry/hurt/angry. in a way i felt confused because i never would have suspected that this person was capable of saying such things. but i learned something important: people do not often exhibit the full range of their nature until given the opportunity to do so. that being said, do i think "anonymous" is a bad or a malicious person? no. but i did learn something about his/her personality/character that i had not been aware of before. and it wasn't necessarily positive.

i can write about this example because it no longer stings me. i can use it to illustrate my point because it is almost trite when i compare it with the things of substance that i value and have experienced throughout my life. but hopefully, you can understand the point i'm trying to make through the lens of this illustration.

while the manifestation of human nature can be negative, it can also be positive and beautiful. i can't count the times where i have been served or witnessed others being served by those whom i'd least expect. whether it was college roommates i barely knew writing a kind note or providing a shoulder to cry on, or the lovely woman down the street who offered a meal to some neighbors who had had a bad day, these people constantly inspire me.

lately it has been husband that has inspired me the most. he has the most kind and gentle heart of anyone i know and has such an aura of patience and love. he is in no way arrogant or condescending; he always places the needs of others before his own. he never hesitates to serve; in fact, this desire is innate within him. and it is such an incredible blessing to witness such characteristics. it encourages me daily to be a little bit better, a little more selfless, so that i too can exhibit the positive aspects of my nature.

sorry if this post was a little too meandering/confusing, sometimes i tend to ramble. shrug.


Kelly and Stacey said...

This is awful. People say things online they would never say to your face. Not in a million years.

Kenna said...

I have no problem kicking said people square in the crotch.

Or face, whatever...