how is it that a million and one crazy things can happen to me in any given time period and the minute i am alone in my room sitting on my bed staring at the wall—all of the chaos can so easily recede to nothingness? it’s like trying to recover the memories of a dream. and all the emotions you felt during such a dream were also…… just…… dreams.
So the topic of “being a servant” has come up, a LOT, lately for me. “What does it mean to be the greatest?” “The first shall be last,” and so forth.
But the thing is, I work in an environment where being a servant is treated like being a doormat and someone who isn’t qualified to be there. I work in an environment where, if you are constantly trying to meet others’ needs, they will take advantage of you and see you as someone they can step on to get to a higher level. I work in a place where, if you don’t hold opinions that may just be stronger and better than the next person’s, you will be seen as a weak link that isn’t sharpening the environment—and you need to be cut off.
What. the heck. am I. supposed. to do. I don’t buy that I’m supposed to quit. I’m supposed to change—their perspective, the environment, the system. But it’s me against an institution. Or, at least… extremely stubborn, opinionated people caught up in success.
When I pass through the busy streets of my city and politely ignore the one standstill person begging me for change (pun intended), am I just as the “decent” slavemaster that thought he was doing his slaves a favor by treating them like prided livestock, … as opposed to actually doing something about the fact that they were labeled property—no matter how “glorified”—in the first place? like, I in no way wish upon them harm, or “further homelessness”……. but I’m not doing anything to help figure out how to change the system.
But not even that, I can’t even… spare them a second glance. because in their eyes, I’m staring into the inescapable reflection of our—my society’s—collective shame.
Pissed off after watching 12 Years A Slave. Then again, maybe the average decent human being these days would (although the movie is having me second guess the wholistic concept of decency). But I don’t know how to sit in anger for very long without it quickly suspending into numbness due to a large scale sense of helplessness. And what am I to do with this anger before it does?
"Would you be willing to confront them for what they did to you?" my roommate asks me.
"No," I say without hesitation. Then I pause. "… maybe. But I’d have to get to the point where I would get so angry at them that I’d have to excuse myself to the bathroom to not scream at them. Then maybe, I’d confront them."
But as I’m talking, I realize the fear behind such a method—realizing that I’m so quick to say no and so hesitant to say maybe because I’m dead set on not losing the people I’ve come to grow familiar with (notice I use “familiar” and not “close”). If I confront them, I will lose them. … but, if that’s the case, … maybe I never had them in the first place.
… I think of all the people I’ve ever claimed to love and the only ones I’ve ever been able to forgive (because where does proof lie for the claim of love until the challenge of forgiveness?) are the ones whose good were more important to me than the pleasure, and the joy, they used to give—and took back—from me. it was only momentarily about the “good” they brought; it was always, moreso, about remaining in a Love that was committed to our good so much so that it was willing to rip us apart the minute our love became anything less than what we were called to be: merely carnal.