Posts Tagged With: pity

The Sugar Coat


I’ll be the first to admit when I don’t understand something. I think everyone suffers when you pretend to understand something you don’t. Usually, I’ll go to the source to try and find out whatever bit of information I’m missing so that I’ll have everything I need on which to base my opinion. If I’m unable to go to the source or the source proves unreliable, I just leave well enough alone. It’s not that I can’t have an opinion, I just don’t think my opinion is any more credible than those who formulate ideas about what an actor is really like, based solely on the roles they play.

Seems silly.

That being said, I’m trying to understand something… how is it that people somehow find a way to make everyone a hero? We make horrible decisions and must deal with the consequences. Nevertheless we will still find a crowd of people rushing to console and defend someone under the guise of being a “real friend”.

I don’t need friends like that. I need someone who will tell me point blank, “Riis, that was wrong.” or “Riis, you need to apologize.” or even “Riis, you messed up bad. Either you make this right or you suffer the fallout alone because I can’t support this kind of behavior.”

See… give it to me straight. Don’t sugarcoat my feelings or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will never grow that way.

Let me say that again…

Don’t sugarcoat my feelings, or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will NEVER grow that way.

Growth is invaluable.

Growth is sometimes painful.

Growth is necessary.

I can’t live without growth.

But I can live without the sugar coat.

Categories: commentary, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conditional Pity


Here’s a confession…

As I hear more and more about police shootings and other types of violence against youth, I sometimes find myself sliding frighteningly close to the edge of CONDITIONAL PITY. See, CONDITIONAL PITY occurs when an individual or group feels sorry for what has happened to someone else, but believes that, to some degree, the victim was simply at the wrong place, or with the wrong people, or doing the wrong thing. And that somehow, if maybe they’d been in the right place, or with the right people, or doing the right thing, this tragedy could’ve been avoided.

I admit that I’ve fallen into that mindset on occasion. I’ve had to actively steer my thinking away from trying to make some sense out of violence that is in many instances all too often a senseless act. Perhaps the reason this happens is because to do so provides us with a false sense of security. Unfortunately, to rationalize the behavior of a criminal in hopes of protecting yourself from becoming a victim as well, not only trivializes the situation, but demeans the victim, and offers no real opportunity for commiseration.

Perhaps the biggest fallacy of CONDITIONAL PITY is that as long as you (or I) relegate victims to that space, you are using victim blaming to effectively convince yourself that it could never happen to you because, you know… you avoid those types of people/places/scenarios, right?

Wrong.

It’s been 11 years sense my nephew was gunned down in a drive by shooting. He was in a car, in the driveway with his cousins, preparing to go to the movies. He wasn’t in the wrong place, or with the wrong people. He was targeted for no reason that he himself could’ve changed or avoided.

I still think about him.

And it still hurts.

It’s only when we allow ourselves to recognize and acknowledge the innocence of these victims, that we can then understand and accept that no one, myself included, is truly safe. Because, as much as we’d like to think otherwise, the world is not safe. And that reality scares people. I understand that. I get scared sometimes too. But CONDITIONAL PITY is not the answer.

Instead, let us use this truth as a call to action. Safety begins at the moment of clear perception. It’s when we decide that participation is more important than observation. Be more than a spectator. In the moment one person decides to move forward, everything around them is changed. How much more so when 100 people decide to move, or 1000?

So I’m moving forward. Maybe in seeing me move, 99 others will be inspired to join me. Maybe if you move, you’ll inspire 999 others. Wouldn’t that be worth the effort? Shouldn’t it?

Opinions welcome.

Categories: commentary, opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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