Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kev Still Says Get the Negative OUT!

I've seen the thought gaining momentum lately and I just want to do my bi-annual push for it as well.

Cut the negative people and thoughts out of your life.  You'll be doing yourself and those around you a huge favor.

When two of my sisters and I stood in a little circle outside the house at my Mom's 70th birthday party some years back and made a pact to kick out and keep out the negative everything from our lives, I knew it was a big deal.  I had never even considered it.  My imagination (which can be my greatest strength or weakness) immediately felt the power in it.

From that day on, I've stuck to it like glue.  I wasn't even on Facebook yet; I think it was just in its early stages then.  I don't even remember what got us talking about removing the negative stuff, but the agreement was that once we realized we were having negative thoughts or were spending much time around a negative person, they had to go.  Distance had to go between us and the thought/person.

At the time, when I told people about it, I would say, "If you've got negative people in your life, you have to toss them over the fence, out of your daily circles."  And I was careful to separate negative people from people just having a bad day or even a bad month, or a good friend or family member just giving you some difficult truths to help you see one or more of your blind spots.  The negative people we were talking about were people who lived to complain about and scorn other people, places, and things.  An example might be a coworker who starts his day telling you, "Damned traffic sucked.  Did you see the Mets last night?  Terrible.  Ok, let's go see what my dumbass boss has for me today.  He'll probably have us have a meeting at that sucky restaurant again.  I think I'll take my horrific wife their next week; she deserves it.  Hey, are you working the Anderson account?  Yes?  Good, I hated those people.  They actually think I care about them.  Ah, this coffee sucks.  And I hope our president has a terrible fishing accident today.  Where's Mills at?  Is he late again?  God that bastard is a loser.  How did he even get hired here?"

Get away from that co-worker, and stay away, if you even want a reasonable shot at true happiness.  And that goes for people in any other category.  If you can't get away from them because you have to be shoulder-to-shoulder for some reason, just stop talking to them.  They'll get the idea.  You can also send your friends and family a personal memo: "Hey, I'm trying a new thing.  Starting next month, I'm going to be putting some distance between myself and people that seem to be constantly negative--just wanted to give everybody a heads up."  Or however you would word that.  More and more, with technology, we can cut people out of our circles that bring is pain routinely or who just seek to attack.  Or you may find that you just disagree with somebody on so many fundamental levels that there is no real point in keeping them in your circles, because every conversation turns into a debate or dismissive attitudes.

If you care about other humans, you will automatically be influenced by their moods in your presence, and if they carry around a dark shadow of doom and gloom and hate and remain discontent no matter how well things are going, you will sink to the bottom with them.  It's just a matter of time.  People with no empathy have a strong advantage here--I'll call it a psycho-perk.  If you aren't concerned about others, you won't be influenced by their feelings or moods.

With the internet the way it is now, people can drag up any mistakes you've ever made and they can usually remain anonymous doing it so they have no moral equivalence test to take in order to make sure they aren't being hypocrites.  They can hurt you, your family, your friends, perfect strangers; some get joy out of it.  Normally, that comes from their own pain; projection could be happening, or they feel like failures at some/most things, and in what I believe is the most selfish kind of behavior, they seek to make others hurt just because they hurt.  I have so much "dirt" on people, I don't know where to store it all.  But I don't share it.  Most of it was shared with me in confidence; some is just stuff I stumbled across.  It is not only just mean to share that type of information, but it's not interesting to me.  Personal attacks aren't interesting.  There's probably some science behind why astrophysicists don't watch Jerry Springer re-runs.

One of the greater ironies is that most of those that are judging are self-proclaimed Christians.  How is it that I, as an Ignostic, can be less judgmental with no definitive guide to lead me than a Christian who is taught directly not to judge if they want to live the Christian life?  Say nothing of turning the other cheek or following the 10 commandments.  If it weren't so sad--this mountain of cognitive dissonance that allows them to turn off the rules when convenient--it would be hilarious.  And this goes really for all rigid religious directives or even strong personal constitutions (for example, somebody who is always preaching about how the death penalty is a good thing until somebody they know and like ends up on trial).  I know plenty of religious folks who do live by the word or their tenets, but I know too many that do not.

Overall, I believe we humans are pretty weak.  I believe we're still mostly animal, but I'm encouraged because I know we have the power to love, forgive, and, assuming normal psychological health, to empathize with our fellow human, regardless of their race, sex, oreintation, religion, or any other quality that would warrant a label or category.  As I get older, I'm losing a little bit of heart and become less defensive over my general belief system which I would normally defend pretty rigorously since it took a lot of reading and thinking and note-taking to arrive at what I believe is an accurate reality.  I couldn't possibly sell that exact reality to everybody because they took different notes, did different reading, and had different thoughts, say nothing of genetic and environmental differences or early-life influences (such as being brought up by parents of a certain religion or political party).

One thing I do know is that the ultimate freedom for the mind comes only when you can truly think for yourself (those who don't have this yet are either ditto-heads or are constantly in search of a perfect leader to lead them), but the freedom of the heart, if you care about others, is only gained when you move the haters away from this sensitive thing that you love with.  I'll treat my heart like a small, warm fire that I only let the kindest, purest, most honest people near, and I know a lot of them, so we'll have to pack in tight already, but the dark and cold personalities will have to just stay out in the dark and cold, where they like it.  If you let them near your fire, they'll just pee on it.  

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