My heart broke and melted at the same time. I was listening from the top of the stairs during a playdate between my daughter Zoe, her BFF, and her other good friend. Her BFF kept complaining about the third friend who was 2 years younger than the two, "Why does Joey (name changed) have to be here? He's a baby and no fun. I bet he'll just mess things up." Joey's feelings were obviously hurt. Before I could process what was happening within the group dynamics I heard my daughter say directly and plainly, "Suzy (name changed), you are being mean. I know you are a nice person but if you keep acting this way Joey will think you are mean too, and no one will want to play with you." Suzy stopped being mean and they all played together without further incident.
My heart broke because at 6 years old, my kid was already experiencing and navigating through bullying behavior. (This wasn't the first time Suzy had tried to exclude others from their play group). How does it come to be that these beautiful children, blank slates of new beings, were already picking on each other and making others feel unwelcome. Remember life as a six year old? All you wanted to do was fit in and be included in your social group. And yet, I had a brave daughter who risked being ostracized from the only world she knew, to right a social wrong.
I've asked Zoe many times why she continues to want to play with Suzy who can be mean, and she replied with such sweet and simple wisdom, "I do bad things sometimes and you still love me." My heart melted. How can I argue with the natural law of love? Universal love finally made sense to me.
Imagine if we, as adults, adopted that philosophy. If we loved each person we met, the same way we loved our own children. Wow! My mind was blown. I forgive my daughter for her mistakes because I love her. Could I apply that same unconditional love to all of mankind? Philosophically my higher brain knows this is the right way to live but my sometimes-louder reactionary lower brain likes to mutter 'idiot driver' when someone cuts me off on the road.
I'm a member of an online women's veterans community. It is a place where women veterans post updates about their lives and seek encouragement and feedback from fellow veterans. It's a positive community and I enjoy reading and commenting about the successes of others.
There is, however, one particular member who is focused solely on her personal politics. Tammy (name changed) likes to post snide comments and encourage others to not support the goals of someone within the group if she finds out that the member's personal politics support a different political party from hers.
I have seen her comments and generally, like most people, ignore them. But the other day it finally hit me - Tammy was a bully! She was a grown Suzy with no friend like Zoe to positively influence her. Tammy had become an online bully who hides behind her computer screen to intimidate and cause pain.
The other day one of my fellow vets posted a story about an free fitness camp she started for children. Kids, exercise and free - what's not to love? Not for Tammy- "This sounds like a program the Nazis had. I think its a terrible idea."
The only flaw I could see in this kids camp was that the founder was a former local politician and obviously from the other side of the political aisle from Tammy. My lower brain wanted to finger-point and yell, "Tammy, you are such a jerk! Why are you always tearing people down?" But, spend any time online and you will know that name calling quickly spirals out of control into unproductive bigoted slurs in every situation no matter what the original topic.
(Deep Breath) How would I react if she were my daughter? A much-deserved time-out was unenforceable. How would my daughter have reacted if she were Suzy? Ignoring her hateful comment, I posted a follow-on positive comment, "I think what Tracy is doing is great. It takes great courage to start something. She is a fellow veteran and I support her camp." Lots of 'likes' attached to my message and Tammy was silenced. I had focused on positivity and won the battle.
I wondered how many other people were tired of seeing Tammy's mean-spiritted posts. Philosopher Edmund Burke said, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' How many times have I stood by and done nothing? And how much less do I have to lose by saying something positive, than my 6 year old child whose entire social world could have ended by her fearless but kind-hearted stance towards bullies? What if we all modeled ourselves on the wisdom of a child?
"Besides," Zoe continued on that fateful playdate, "Maybe Suzy will want to be more like me if I'm nice." I quickly realized that as much as I try to teach my daughter, she is continually teaching me.
Faced with a 1 year sentence to the countryside after getting dumped right before my birthday, my prospects for 2013 were not looking good. 2012 was a good year for dick and pussy in my face ( 0 dicks), but I didn't end strong. Instead, I chose to not cheat on my future ex-girlfriend. At the start of this year, I moved from the city to the country, and I decided to lower my expectations rather than my standards. Most of the people I met in town were toothless drunks, which was slightly less attractive than the local talent on OkCupid. I've used websites to hook up before- my first time using OkCupid to meet someone, it went as well as all you can eat Mexican food can get, and soon lead to my first ex-girlfriend in Korea. The experience was satisfying enough to keep me trawling for gap on the internet. And then I found some.
Her profile didn't have a picture, only a lengthy plea for lengthy dick. I empathized with her story, having lived a version of it my junior year: Long-distance open relationship, hasn't had a dick inside her for 3 months. I chatted her up about things like Haruki Murakami and two weeks later we are exchanging pictures of her vibrators and having conversations of this nature:
9:36pm, May 20, 2013, Sliz : I came so hard
9:36pm, May 20, 2013, Sliz : my pussy is still contracting
A couple weeks ago I was waiting at the bus stop to go to the airport. A two businessmen were joking around on the bench. I stood nearby, practicing Japanese on my phone.
One of them gave up on the late bus after a while so I started talking to the other one. He was friendly and a good conversationalist. Fifteen minutes into the conversation he casually and without shame mentioned that he was homeless.
Man. I was way off on that one, I thought.