"Everyone is gifted" the speaker told us today. "Everyone."
"...everyone is an expert about something" says the poster over my desk.
" even the dull and the ignorant... have their story" we are reminded in Desiderata.
What do I do with this information? What does it ask of me?
A group of us went down to Frenchman Street after the awards dinner Monday night. The conversation turned round to cynicism; how the way "people" are inspires it or justifies it--their ignorance or blindness or stupidity or ....
Cynicism is where I end up if don't watch my step. Hence, the poster over my desk. Unlike some in the circle that night, I don't experience cynicism as a high chair where I perch self-righteously and wearily shake my head--or snarl. Cynicism is a short, slippery slope that quickly lands me in a pit where my skin and heart and mind are gnawed to shreds by prickly eels with long teeth.
I dare not go there. At least not alone. I can play, nervously laughing through a half sneer, with a friend. A couple minutes talking trash. But I'm scared and ashamed the whole time. I feel slimy and insincere. But mostly scared. Like, oh god what's happening to me?!
When I'm interacting with someone I judge (yes, that's what it is) to be dull or ignorant, I might be bored or restless. Or maybe impatient. Or, sometimes, embarrassed. If I find myself in a group that I judge to be mostly comprised of dull or ignorant people -- and especially if I am paying in dollars or time to be with them, I become angry.
But the question remains: even if I successfully detach from any of those "negative" feelings and begin chanting those opening ideas like mantra, and my mood and perspective shift--then what? Does Love ask anything more than tolerance of me? If so, what? And what does it look like?