One of the definitions of the word ‘epiphany’ is “[a] comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization“. I had one of those about thirty-five years ago. I shall never forgot it.
I had a roommate at the time with whom I could not get along. Try as I might, he just kept doing things that seemed calculated to annoy me. I was starting to hate his guts. And as is often the case, it was obvious that he was feeling the same way towards me.
Well, it was impossible for us to get out of our living arrangements for some time. We were stuck. Faced with the prospect of several months of miserable living, we both sat down and decided to try to see if we could work out our differences. To get things started and to have some basis of discussion, we decided that we would each make a list of things that really bugged us about the other. We would then prioritize the list, placing at the top the thing that bugged us most, then the next worst thing, then the next worst thing, and so on.
It took me only about a minute to quickly write down five items. It then only took me a couple of minutes more to prioritized them. My roommate did the same thing.
The moment of truth had arrived. We compared lists.
They were the exact same list! They were the exact same items listed in the exact same order. What bugged me about the other person was exactly what bugged him about me and to the same degree.
I learned an important principle that day. When I see something that bugs me, really bugs me in another person, I first make very sure that I am not guilty of the exact same thing. And guess what? Nine times out of ten, I am.
You can see this phenomena quite easily on our board. A supporter of candidate “A” will criticize a supporter of candidate “B” for something, yet just one or two comments earlier the first supporter was doing the same exact thing. Either that, or one poster will attack another poster, and the target will retaliate by turning around and attacking the first poster. Either way, they are guilty of doing the same thing as the other guy.
Some call it hypocrisy. While it is true that you could call it that, I seldom do. Instead, as I learned nearly four decades ago, I tend to call it just plain old human nature.
Some of the rhetoric on this board does get to be rather heated at times. We are a political site, after all — a political site that caters to Republicans and conservatives of all stripes. So we tend to have differing opinions about things that we are passionate about. That is a recipe for flame wars. So let’s be careful that we don’t contribute to them.
A word of caution needs to be interjected here. Kavon has a fairly high threshold before he will pull the trigger and ban someone. But he will ban them. With the 2012 campaign heating up, so are the tempers and the rhetoric. Be extra careful. Never forget that this is his site. We are his guests. If he issues a warning, you best give heed to it. Otherwise you will find yourself on the outside looking in. Please don’t let it progress to that point.
Remember, we choose the way we respond to people. It is our choice, nobody else’s. And the choices we make reflect directly upon us. Dumbledore perhaps said it best. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
What do your choices show about you?