On Looking Inside Out

We magnify the flaws in others that we secretly see in ourselves.

Baylor Barbee

I’ve been having a hard time finding compassion for others lately, and find myself responding harshly to those who are most likely afraid, confused, and overwhelmed. Social media makes it easy to lash out when really the issue is inside. These are the times I dislike who I am becoming and it’s a red flag to step back and work on my flaws.

The post seemed to be innocuous. At least, if it hadn’t been posted by the person who posted it on social media. A flippant comment, that on the surface seemed to be crass, perhaps funny in the right context….well, from anyone else. Was this person serious? If so, they needed to be told that they were wrong. Less than human. Fake. After all, this wasn’t the first time. Little digs, at least that’s how they FELT, all the time. Seeming off hand comments, unasked for advice, unsolicited opinions, under the guise of support….after awhile, these all added up to reaching the threshold of STOP SAYING THINGS. Who better to not let this go than me? After all, most of the things that had been said were aimed at me, not this, but still. Judging me. Who has the right to judge anyone? I am not judgmental or self righteous–have I ever been called that? I am kind, I am fair. Have I ever been not so? I am not a fraud. And I only say things when it is clearly egregious behavior, so vile that it must be halted, in a bold manner, corrected, so that this person could know the depths their character has sunk. After all, I care. It should be seen as a favor, a saying of truth, just like this person says such commentary are to me. Things said to me under the guise of caring, compassion, friendship…clearly false. So. Tit for tat. It’s interesting how the truth differs so much between us. Why is that? Is the truth always black and white? But there are lines in the sand, drawn, that cannot and SHOULD NOT be crossed. This comment, well…a clear indication that one has been crossed. A line that anyone, not just ME, would think crossing was vile. After all, my other friends, to whom I showed the post and explained all the wrongs about the person, agreed with me. So I must be right. The bucket of transgressions, full up and tipped. The water flows, red like blood, and it is up to me to stop it. It is up to me to staunch the flow, to destroy the bucket, to make sure it cannot be used again. Let me begin my crusade, as I am a warrior for truth, for compassion. Here I go. A comment, just so, back. Clever and en pointe to evoke a response in this oblivious individual. Ahh. Here comes the response. Wait? Admission of guilt? Well, that too must be false. This is clear evidence that everything is false here. I have made up my mind. So I must respond to show what is the truth, what I have decided. What is the right thing. I care. I am fair. I do not judge. I am doing this for growth. All the right reasons. Who else it there to do this? I am a warrior for compassion. I must set this right. It is my mission. My second parry. What? Now others say I am unjust? How can this be? They do not know this person, not like me. They must be wrong, hoodwinked. All of them. After all, I am right. I am just. My friends, who know me, agree that I am right. They back me up. And I care. All others must be wrong. Those who do not agree with me; poor souls. So lost. A third parry, privately. What, concession by this person? Blatantly false. Again, I am right. I cannot be wrong. I am just. I must pass sentence. It is my right. I am compassion. I care. That gives me the power. I do not judge others. Not like they judge me.

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