I know I am a good person. I know that I never wish to harm anyone. I also know that some of the stupid, immature and thoughtless comments that I’ve made in my life, the ones which I thought were hilarious, crossed the line by like three hundred and eleven miles and have cost me dearly.
I can’t tell you how many times my rebuttal began, “…but I didn’t mean to…”or “…but I didn’t think it would…”
If you’d like, I can furnish you with the names and phone numbers of a dozen friends I’ve lost who will gladly verify that fact.
I spent most of my life feeling misunderstood. It wasn’t until I began to realize that I was my own problem, and became willing and able to get out of my own selfish way, that I realized my words, the words that I thought were harmless and funny, could, and did, cut other people to their core.
Humor can be a tricky bitch. Like scent, humor has extremely offensive or captivating effects on us, depending on the kind. I have always wielded my funny stick every which way without a concern in the world who I hit with it…as long as it got laughs. Who cares if people got offended or hurt because the joke was at their expense? Toughen up people, it’s just a joke, ha-ha, see? What I began to realize a few years ago, is that irresponsible humor like that is easy, and cheap. It may be abundant, but the price is steep. Those laughs will cost you friendships. Those laughs will cost you trust. Those laughs will cost you your reputation and your dignity.
Many of us who blog suffer from the same little disorder, egomaniacs with inferiority complexes. On the outside, our egos may appear to tower over us at times, while on the inside, we only want acceptance and validation. As those things grow, so can the hungry little ego. Please, anyone who is not guilty of this on some level, feel free to throw your stones. My point is, that it is important for us to stay right sized.
Sometimes, as our writing grows up, our irreverent, inappropriate, and often immature selves fall behind in that process. This polarization of ourselves can open up a wide world of scrutiny about our true motives and intent. The internet and blogging can do that. You get attention, develop a following, a voice, it’s a fun little game in the beginning, and it is an amazing feeling to develop a core of followers. I feel that once we develop the following that we’ve worked so hard for, that we then must recognize that we have a greater responsibility to the rather large and growing audience we have created. That responsibility involves being accountable for every word that we put out there. Make no mistake, it is a much larger responsibility than many of us appreciate, and unfortunately, many of us don’t realize the repercussions of our words and opinions until they reach out and shake us by the necks, in context or not. We’ve got to walk the walk people.
Every word we send out; text, email, or social media, is fair game to anyone elses opinion or scrutiny, it is a double-edged sword. I started out all fuck this and fuck that and suck my dick…like a little kid all high on the freedom of it all. Then, eventually I tired of that, and began to evolve into real writing, finding my true voice, but our behind the scene voices haven’t evolved along with the writing, and to some, that makes our motives and intent look questionable.
That’s the name of the game in blogging. We write freely about how we feel, and in turn, we have to accept the responsibility of taking both praise and scrutiny for our words and opinions. We put ourselves under the very large microscope of the internet, and some of us must learn, often times in a very public way, that there are implications to every word that we fire out into cyber space. If we are not careful, it is easy for our intent to be misconstrued. It is up to us not to play a part in perpetuating an easily distorted appearance of oneself.
I have always had a hard time distinguishing the line in the sand, I don’t offend easily and selfishly expected the same of others. As I am learning, and have had to learn the hard way many times, is that the ruler by which I measure my own inappropriateness and sense of what is funny or offensive, is by no means even remotely close to the same as everyone else’s.
We must always be conscious of what will be left in our wake.
I began to veer away from that sort of humor a few years ago, and instead, took aim at myself, which evolved into a naturally self-deprecating style of humor. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just transformed my (reckless and irresponsible) ability to laugh at the world from the shortcomings and mistakes of others, to focusing on those of my own.
My opinion is that the ability to laugh at oneself demonstrates health and good-naturedness. Self-deprecation is endearing. Self-deprecation is funny. Self-deprecation reminds us that we are all flawed and that nobody has it together all of the time. But self-deprecation is tricky. When being self-deprecating goes too far, it can become self-loathing and self-sabotaging, which are less amusing forms of putting yourself down. The right kind of humor is the best lubricant to smooth your way in life, pulling in opportunities and friendship. When humor highlights what we have in common, it is disarming, and makes others feel more included. Unifying humor is healing and enables us to see the larger picture where hope is possible.
My point is, that it’s time for many of us, myself included, to continue to grow up. That does not mean sacrificing who we are, it just means that we have to slow down enough to be aware of the repercussions of our words before we put them out there. We always have to check our motives and our true intent. We have to constantly grow and learn the lessons in front of us, forgive others for their mistakes, show humility, and stand up for our beliefs and convictions when we are passionate. We must remember that we have all had our own difficult paths to walk to get here, our own shadows to overcome and skeletons to wrestle. We all make mistakes, the important part is that we are willing to learn from them.
But what the fuck do I know.
Categories: Addiction, Recovery & Deep Thoughts