Thursday, July 15, 2010
Honesty Is the Best Poltice
That being said....
I hate pat answers. The other day a friend (on facebook) was lamenting an issue within an issue, one that included a lot of heartbreak. It was something that really, I thought, required some good compassion were any response given. Instead, the first person to respond to her post merely said, "Nothing worth doing is easy." Well... DUH! I don't know the respondant, but I wanted to reach through the screen and slap her for her lack of intelligence and insight. Instead, I muttered, "Bitch... you are lucky you didn't throw your trite crap in my direction!"
I hate, hate, hate pat answers. The gods know, I've been on the receiving end of enough of them for my vitriolic venom to be justified. I hate these phrases:
-Time heals all wounds. No it doesn't. It just plain doesn't. If you really believe that, you're deluded, possibly a sociopath, or you've somehow skated through life without being hurt.
-This too shall pass. Maybe, but so what. That doesn't lessen the impact. Just because lightening is only supposed to strike once doesn't mean it always adheres to that rule, and doesn't make it any less painful when it does.
-Try not to worry / don't worry. Impossible. If I care about something or someone, I am going to be concerned.
-I know how you feel. No you don't. You haven't got a clue. You can't know how I feel any more than I can know how you feel... any more than either of us can know how it feels to be plankton.
-Nothing worth doing is easy. Sometimes a thing worth doing is very easy. Sometimes I can work my ass off for something worthless. Regardless, this particular phrase, in my mind, is the same consideration as saying, "Sucks to be you, Dude," as you walk away eating a sandwich.
If you use these phrases, and there are others but, you see, I'm on a controlled rant just now (*cough*). If you're using these phrases, you are not helping. You're not even consoling. Yes, I'm aware that your "intentions are good," but (face it) if you're using these phrases (or any like them), your intentions are really about as heartfelt, realistic, and useful as a square bowling ball covered with honey.
I know, now you're all confused. Hey, I know how you feel, but don't worry, this too shall pass. See how horrid that sounds? You're wondering, "So... what do I say?!" Well, gee. Try speaking from your heart instead of reciting a worn phrase. That's right, try honest feeling. A couple of months ago, when my friend's twenty year old son died, all I could say was, "I am without words for this. Please know that I love you."
If you're reading this... if you're still reading this, that is... please... no more pat answers, no more trite recitations. Honest feelings only, okay? Please? If you don't know what to say, the appropriate response is, "I don't know what to say." There is nothing wrong with that. We are all blessed and cursed with The Human Condition. Like the song says, try a little tenderness.