I have a very strong affinity with Goddess Kali. Often, when I'm hired to do a house clearing for someone, I call upon her for protection and wisdom. I always feel safe when walking with HER as she's a great protector! (I also call upon Hecate, on such occasions, but that's another blog entry altogether! Hecate just wanted to be mentioned!)
NO NONSENSE COMMUNICATIONS: WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
(Not to be confused: healthy fun and joyous frivolity are quite unlike "nonsense." The former mentioned actions create happiness and are to be encouraged!)
While I'm very openly and comfortably Pagan, I grew up in a Seventhday Adventist (SDA) home. I even attended church school in that ultra-conservative religious community. To this day I associate with some of my former classmates (mostly on-line) even while they remain deeply involved in the SDA church ...
One of them, I'll refer to as "Bubba," posted something on Facebook the other day that made my eyebrows furrow. He wrote that he adored Mr. Touchy-Feely (not his real name -- but a former teacher of ours who was often touching the girls in gymnastics class, excessively). What caused me to feel curious was how Bubba wrote: "He was was "one of my favorite teachers!"
To think that Bubba could have actually liked Mr. Touchy-feely (who ridiculed non-jocks like Bubba), well, it seemed so highly unlikely. I decided to write Bubba a PRIVATE message to see if he might enlighten me and my perception of his past. So I asked: "Really? You honestly liked Mr. Touchy-feely? Share a positive memory you have of him because I'm really curious!"
See: Mr. Touchy-feely disliked anyone who couldn't do fifty push-ups very quickly and while I was very much into sports myself, I personally loathed Mr. Touchy-feely. For one thing, he made me do sit-ups while I had to wear a back brace (so I bruised my ribs, terribly). In spite of my spine's deformity, I was highly competitive, athletic, and desperately wanted straight A's so I worked out very hard in his gym class. I even ran extra laps for extra credit. So you can imagine my disappointment when he gave me a "C" grade. When I approached him to ask why I had not earned an "A" he just said: "Because I am the TEACHER that's why!" (I always felt it was because I wasn't petite like the gymnasts AND I wore that damn body brace).
When Bubba finally replied to my letter, he said something about how we all need to be FORGIVING of others; even of Mr. Touchy-feely. (This is a common perception of many adult SDAs -- that people don't need to be held accountable, just forgiven.) I could certainly agree to that idea of forgiveness because holding onto negative thoughts and/or feelings can definitely be harmful to someone's health. At the same time, it seems dishonest to FORGET wrongs done to the point of lying about what happened from the past.
Not only that? But Mr. Touchy-feely has never ASKED to be forgiven (isn't that a needed requirement of forgiveness?). [I realize this point could be ARGUED ... but if you want to have a healthy relationship with someone, the perpetrator of some wrong really needs to ASK for forgiveness before you just forgive him/her. Otherwise, the perpetrator continues with irregular behavior and further dysfunction or abuse evolves in your relationship.]
Thinking this way ... I replied to Bubba that I was concerned he would label this teacher a "favorite" when he could not remember one positive encounter with Mr. Touchy-feely. Certainly we had some good teachers who would be deserving of such accolades. The trouble with saying nice things when you don't really mean them is that others who hear what you say must then question how sincere are the other things you have said.
Personal realization? I will not applaud, tip or compliment rude, lazy or disruptive behavior. I will let my "yes" mean "yes" and my "no" mean "no." When I give a compliment, or say that I like a book, person, or food item, it will be because I genuinely like such and genuinely want to share such positive experiences with my friends. When it comes to tipping (tips are very much like compliments) I'm very generous providing I received great service. I take pleasure in rewarding awesome behavior, after all, but I refuse to tip for NON service (why reward negative behavior)?
Complimenting a bad teacher is like giving a standing ovation to some performance where the musicians, actors or comedian never practiced much and failed to put their heart into their work. After giving a standing ovation to such a low quality act, how do you reward the following act when that performer(s) really put their "all" into making you happy and entertained beautifully?
The world would certainly become a much easier place to navigate through if we could all take everyone else's word at face value. It would also be a nicer if we all received our just reward for hard work exerted. (Tipping a rude server, for example, just diminishes the the valuable tips that a good server makes. Hard workers must wonder: if you can make tips by being lazy, what motivation is there for working HARD?)
The Goddess of Death, Kali, reminds me that irresponsible behavior and foolishness needs to die. There's a time for everything under the Sun, a time to laugh, a time to compliment and a time to curse. When we receive a thoughtful gift, it's probably an appropriate time to say "thank you." Yet saying "thank you" when we have been insulted or given physical injuries -- to compliment THAT sort of harm -- it just really makes the speaker of compliments seem insane.
Posted by SunTiger.