Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Being Human.

I realize that my shyness leaves me lacking in human skills. I struggle daily with the obligations of interacting with people I don't know well. I've become better able to manage  normalcy, but I know that my efforts are evident. This personality trait makes me appear aloof and indifferent. In truth, I care deeply about people. All people.

Social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, has opened up an avenue for communicating and connecting with others and it's usually a good outlet for expression. Lately, though, I've noticed subtle snarkiness online among people I know and respect. Frankly, it's conscious meanness. And even though it isn't targeted at me, it makes me feel dark, and clutchy.

It doesn't take a Psych degree to understand the dynamics in the snark scenario. Popular kid makes fun of nerdy kid in front of peers in order to gain acceptance. Peers comment in agreement and nerdy kid is left publicly humiliated. It happens, but I didn't think it would happen with my network of friends. Among adults. It sucks and makes me question what is valued in our society. It also makes me thankful for the people with whom I surround myself. The genuine and kind.

It is during these quick glances that I feel, perhaps, maybe, occasionally, OK with being me. I'll be the first to admit I suck at things that are important when you're a human being, but I can vouch that I would never consciously hurt another person's feelings just to make me feel better about myself. Kindness and empathy comes naturally. Just don't ask me to make small talk. I will disappoint you. It's inevitable.

I've spent a good part of my life revering intelligence because it is what I crave and love and respect. But now I realize that smart isn't good enough. Being kind trumps smart. This has been lurking within me for a while and now, here it is.

Peace out. Be kind.

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