Yesterday, I had a very odd chat with a friend: Someone on the internet had insulted him, and when I said I don’t find this person’s attitude very nice, his answer was simply: “But I have a different approach now. I will learn from this and I don’t care that he insulted me. I will always try to grow on those things from now on.” I told him, instead he could also just be human and thus mad at that douchebag. We parted in disagreement.
How human can we still be, if our overall aim is to be very grown-up and wise and diplomatic and settled? Was my suggestion irrational or his? Why do we even have to have this overall aim of becoming a perfect person?
Learning from experience prepares us for bigger challenges. But sometimes, things are just not in our hands. If someone insults us on the anonymous internet, for instance, where bullies have all freedom they can dream of, and a wider audience than they could ever possibly reach in real life due to their probably far from impeccably functioning social skills – don’t we have the right to just be upset for five minutes , call them names, rage a bit, and then move on?
My friend said life would be much easier if we relaxed more and cared less. I don’t believe him. I just cannot imagine it being easier to suppress one’s natural reaction and anger, force oneself to remain friendly and think of a nice field with flowers and butterflies, and then even derive a wise moral for the own behavior from a jerk’s attitude. I think, just kicking the jerk’s butt mentally (or verbally in a monologue) would have someone all calm and ready to move on five minutes later. It sounds much easier, doesn’t it?
After all, we are all very different from each other. There may be people who remain calm naturally, and there are the ones who are naturally annoyed by a lot of different and small things. Like me. Yes, and although I have recently watched a short-movie on having the power to decide whether or not I want to let little things affect and annoy me, I reckon that sometimes it is just easier and very human to go with the initial feeling. And, honestly, if I stopped being annoyed – what would I write this blog about then?
I am not saying the answer to everything is rage, and self-control should be forbidden. Growing and improving is important for our social interaction. But there are limits to everything, don’t you think? And if I hear someone saying “I decided to accept those things, learn from them and grow with them,” in a situation totally worthy a little rant, I cannot help but call it bullshit.
Neither do I believe in aiming for perfection, by the way. You should always act in the range that is comfortable for you, and try to not hurt other people while doing that. Or yourself. And don’t worry – the improvement comes automatically with growing up for sensible people: badmouthing others might be fun with age 15, but in your twenties you’ll find yourself highly inappropriate when doing that. But growing probably also means to accept that there are some things on this planet that simply have no other purpose than being annoying – like wasps. And internet-jerks.
Image courtesy of vectorolie and Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net