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Thursday, July 23, 2009

everybody plays the fool


It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain


i was having lunch today with a friend and we were chatting about our individual trips through europe. the one i talked about was my trip with my friend blue through germany,austria, with prague and amsterdam added in. he was telling me about 2 separate trips which were car purchases, one audi and one mercedes. it was very light reminiscence and i'm sure an onlooker could tell our hearts were lighter with the breeze of recall.

but somewhere in the conversation, my history with my career in travel came up, and i found myself spouting much more about my emotional entanglements and my drinking habits, than i did the triumphs and tragedies of my worklife.

it didn't seem appropriate at all, and i tried to stop myself a couple of times, but it was almost like trying to stop a windup toy. i could stop for a minute, but when i was freed up i simply continued to sputter until the memory had wound down.

later this afternoon, i was in a meeting of a group i volunteer for. we were discussing the next year's finances and something just wasn't right. there seemed to be some information that i had been expecting to get that just never appeared. and the discussions meandered around the conference table like a maypole dance in slo-mo. i felt thoughts become pressure that built up in my head. i was watching my comrades speak and kept thinking i must have missed a memo. i cannot be this disconnected to what is happening. how did i land in this dream?

i couldn't help myself. there was no way i could not clear my throat and blurt out the question that was tickling my every fiber. "what about this information we have been expecting". well, we don't have that information, yet we are expected to make decisions about the coming fiscal year.

it was a question that no one else would dare ask. i'm sure the implications of talking about "the unspeakable" made most around me squirm with uneasiness. a friend on teleconference snapped about my query and insisted he would resign because of the appearance of impropriety. i then found myself apologizing for my unbridled zest. in now way was i attempting accusations. merely concerned about propriety and responsibility. and my own lack of abundant time to follow up on the details. but i can't just remain quiet when it is abundantly clear that silence is preferred.

in the "program" this is referred to as character defects. this sort of restraint i lack is honestly something i have never possessed. i have lived most of my life as impulsive as one can be.

i am trying to learn about life with new eyes. i am blessed with the ability to comprehend and communicate in ways that many i encounter will not. the complications i find myself in these days are "gold problems". the inability to shut up is a "gold problem". the ability to say "no" to myself with regard to getting high was a long overdue skill which has changed my life.

today's sound choice is the main ingredient with "everybody plays the fool"




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3 comments:

Mark said...

Sounds to me like you're letting go of the character defect of people-pleasing.

Java said...

Mark may have a point.
I have a theory about this quality you display. I have known people like this; impulsive, quick to speak up, often saying things that make others uncomfortable. I suspect the world needs people like this, people who will say what needs to be said when others remain "politely" quiet. Jesus' disciple Peter was like that. You keep people on their toes, make them think about stuff they might otherwise ignore.

It's just a theory, a function of my sometimes-reasonable brain.

Sheria said...

The world needs gadflies to nudge us along into significant change. I totally get the way you describe feeling disonnected from your comrades; I've felt that myself. Socrates referenced himself as being a gadfly, stirring the pot of change in Greek society. However, as my sister points out to me, they made Socrates drink hemlock. Don't accept coffee from strangers.

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