I feel really ill. It’s raining. There was dirt on the shower floor this morning, and white paint(?) all over the back of the bathroom door. One of my housemates had some sort of porridge for breakfast this morning that involved most of our pots, bowls, and countertops, and very little washing up. (I hate porridge!) The radio is playing the same Pussycat Dolls song again. Some random Scottish guy is killing sea eagles. Meanwhile, some random Pakistani guy keeps feeding the pigeons on this street and they’re responding to his generosity by ungratefully splattering every square inch of the sidewalk with creamy white pigeon poo. There’s a spider the size of a terrier posted at the front door like some sort of bug bouncer. There are goofy commercialistic Christmas decorations up everywhere in town already. And did I mention it’s raining, and I’m ill?
I should feel miserable. But I don’t. You know why?
Because I just got to whine about my petty, unimportant problems in public.
No, really, Ifeel fine today. But this morning on my way to Tesco to pick up some comfort mood(meaning, tofu, chocolate and pineapple…would have gotten some blueberries but good heavens, I’m not paying £2 for some watery out of season blues! I’ll just wait until next summer I guess. ~sigh~ Can’t wait until I can afford to do the whole urban homestead thing and just grow a few bushes to satisfy my cravings. Blueberry preserves saved in the deep freeze for February, yum. Wait, do blueberries grow well in England? Hm…need to find that out. That is a major factor on where the heck I decide to settle! Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, on the way to Tesco I was thinking and…) I had a thought. It is so easy to get bogged down in the little things that influence our moods. It’s so easy to get caught up in protective emotions to the exclusion of everything else, especially for us groovy Western types who are used to thinking that our comfort=good happy feelings and our discomfort=bad evil feelings that are often someone else’s fault even if the results of said discomfort are good. Hm.
I’ve made quite a few Latino friends here in England. My brain has a built in device that automatically detects the happiest music, spiciest food and most enjoyable parties in any given area, so I guess it was inevitable. In getting to know these friends however, I’m a bit surprised at how often their responses and ideas to things in mixed cultural company are dismissed because they are Latino and therefore ’emotional’. ‘Emotional’ often brings with it implications of instability and unreasonable actions. However, that isn’t the case with these friends at all. Hm.
I like almost all of the English expressions and phrases that I hear, even if I don’t understand a lot of them intuitively. (Ask me one day about the embarrasment that resulted from misunderstanding the phrase “did I heck!”). However, there is one very uniquely English expression that I cannot stand. That phrase is “I can’t be bothered”. It’s ruder counterpart, “can’t be arsed” is enough to send me into a mouth-foaming enraged rant. Basically it means, “I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to. I can’t muster the energy to do this because it might make me uncomfortable or frustrated on some level.” That mess ANNOYS me, in capital letters with a splash of lime and sour bile. Don’t get me wrong, Americans express this same sentiment just as often, but something about its usage in England is just so bald and blunt and unreasonable, to my culture-crossing ears, at least. How on earth was there ever a British empire with that kind of attitude floating around? Hm?
Now watch the trench there, we have to make a pretty big inductive leap at this part of the path…
Emotional is not bad. Emotional can be good, but not the self-serving reactive ’emotional’ that has wormed its way into the truth-dodging lexicon of English-speaking Westerners. Dare I say, even the way that very progressive and otherwise world-changing Christians use ’emotional’ is often wrong. Being emotional only for the sake of saving oneself discomfort or further emotion is an incomplete and restrictive way to live. Using your emotions only to get what you want is just as selfish as using your money to only serve your greeds instead of your needs, or using your time to only do what you want to do and never what you need to do. Emotions are, I think, most powerful when they prompt someone into living as a whole person. Let the good feel good, and rejoice in it. Let the bad feel bad, and do something to fix it. But I think as a culture, as a spiritual group, as a whatever, people collectively need to stop using emotion to manipulate others and themselves into taking a lesser interest in the world around them in the name of temporary personal enjoyment and instant mental gratification. In other words, emotions are at their best and (I think) their most powerful only when they’re not all about you. And they’re especially bad and manipulative when they are only used to self-serve and project one’s own discomfort onto the world so that one does not have to deal with life situations properly.
Oh dammit. This means one has to go and do all that porridge-y washing up now. Damn.
Huh. It’s stopped raining. Which obliquely reminds me…
Take a look at this;
Which do you think is more disrespectful?