Sunday, October 24, 2010

“It’s like saying ‘humans can breathe now.’” and, Do I look good in Navy?

For the last couple of years I’ve studied some people around me. …So sue me. I’m a writer. It’s what we do. We watch social interactions. We dissect behaviors. Consider motives. …And in this there’s something I’ve discovered that I really have a severe distaste for. Bullying.

Now, I can understand if a person is a jerk due to unfortunate circumstances. A rough life is no excuse, but I understand it being a cause. Hell, I even understand a person being BORN a jerk. Maybe like Steve Martin you were born a poor black child.

What I DON’T understand is why someone whom I believe to be nice (or used to be as the case may stand) will criticize others just to elevate their own standing in the eyes of others that AREN’T so nice. In other words, bullies of a feather flock together. One person picks on someone or something, and the other person (seeming desperate to gain that other person’s approval for some reason) will not only join in on the fun, but will go to great lengths of acting superior and adopting a faux bullying personality of their own.

But therein lies the problem. If you pretend to act as a superior asshole (hahaha, a scene from BSG just popped in my head) it won’t be long until you don’t have to pretend anymore. You truly become one. Judgmental, Shallow, Ignorant, and horribly lonely. All because you tried so hard to gain the approval of someone no one actually likes anyway.

Let me tell you a little story about a Farmer named…

I was out and about to have some fun with friends one day a couple years ago. A couple of them were ripping a bit on the local color, despite the fact that these same people they were making fun of were the one’s serving the drinks and applauding our songs. I didn’t like it, but gritted my teeth, and tried to just not listen. It wasn’t my place to play “mommy” and correct the behavior. All it would have done was make a scene and enemies of friends. Until...

One of my friends, seeming to seek attention and perhaps have others take note of their superior intellect made the comment, “Guess what I get to do tomorrow. I get to substitute teach Ag Science!” he said with thick sarcastic enthusiasm. “That’s right! I get to teach the next generation of farmers!”

*Note. I was married to a farmer for 9 years, and Aimee’s brain just exploded. …You can pick on me all you like, but NEVER pick on those that I love.

“Well, I hope you remember that statement the next time you bite into your McDonald’s cheeseburger, and take a second to think where that food came from.”

The only response I received was, “I don’t eat McDonald’s.”

…….Wow. For someone so intellectually superior, kinda failed to grasp the concept of that statement, huh? And for all of you out there that would side with this person and treat all farmers as slack jawed yokels, let me stop you RIGHT NOW and say everything I WISH I would have said to him that day.

If you think you can do THIS every morning to have that strip of bacon by all means…

It takes chemistry to test soil, or mix chemicals and fertilizers. It takes biology to breed livestock or treat a wounded or sick animal. It takes mechanical knowledge to fix a tractor or maintain milking machines. It takes geometry to construct a new shed or barn. And there is an ABUNDANCE of philosophy to be found in the constant observation of Life and Death and change all around on a farm. Don’t judge a book by its career choice. These people work hard to put food in YOUR supermarket and therefore in YOUR stomach. Unless you’re going to grow ALL of your food in your backyard the rest of your life, RESPECT THEM!

I'm not saying you won't find some individuals that are less than intelligent in farming. You will find that scenario anywhere though. (*Looks at congress.) But wouldn’t the world be better if we helped each other better themselves instead of tearing each other down anyway?

Where I work, I’m… how to put this right? I’ve been told I have a strong vocabulary. In fact, I’ve been told by more than a few of my associates that they don’t understand half of the words I use. So, are my coworkers stupid? NO! They are not. But it can be the stereo type for my place of employment. But a strong vocabulary does not intelligence make. And my coworkers just haven’t been exposed to those words yet. And if they tell me that they don’t understand something, I explain the words, and then…. LOW AND BEHOLD!!! THEY USE THE WORD! IT’S LEARNING!!! YAY!!!

I can teach better than that.

Like I said. I’ve been watching social situation. Studying people. One of the book series I’m working on revolves around a school-like structure. So I’ve been looking at teachers lately. And I’m sad to say, but the show Glee may have it right. The world has a lot more Sue Sylvesters that I would care to recognize. Many of the teachers I’ve come across only seem to teach because they enjoy the concept of being the smartest one in the room. But really, how much are you going to teach if this is your goal. It only makes sense if you hold those around you back so you can continue to feel that sense of superiority.

Thankfully most of my teacher friends are NOT like this. They will gently point out the difference between too, to, and two, instead of ripping the person apart that made the error of using one variation incorrectly and then proceed to bash the stupidity of such simple errors all over Facebook.

People make mistakes.

Once upon a time, some close friends and I were chatting into the wee hours of the morning, having a slumber party of sorts. Actually, my friend’s daughter was having a slumber party, and we chaperones decided to have a little girl fun of our own. So, armed with spinach dip and other snackage, we left the girls to do their boy-talk and found some privacy to do some man-talk.

Well… kinda.

Sure we talked about men, and some of the stupid stuff males do. But we didn’t stay on the topic too long. We somehow segued to talking about vampires. Kelly was especially irritated with shows, movies, and books, that change “vampire law.”

Her rant was for the fact that vampire legend should not be changed. Changing rules about vampires being able to go out into the sun and such “is like saying humans can breathe now!”

We all blinked. Me especially. We were at that very special point of tired and I thought, “Oh no! Am I wrong? I’m breathing. Should I not be breathing!?”

People make mistakes and we had a good hard laugh about it. There was no reason for any of us to call anyone stupid. It was acceptable. Sometimes it is not the fact that a person uses the wrong version of Too, to, or two… But sometimes, they meant to say that “human’s can breathe UNDER WATER now.” Laugh about it. Love each other despite little errors. We are but HUMAN. Don't alienate yourself and then bitch about being lonely.

I can’t do this anymore. I was meant for so much more than lugging produce around breaking my back in Lake Geneva Wisconsin for next to no money. I need to get out of here. But where to? Where is any different than this sleepy town? It isn't the town that's the problem. It's the situation. I’ve been ranting for a while about needing to get away. Needing to go. I wanted to go to Seattle for a writing position for a while. That fell through. I had a backup plan of earning a 2 year degree in ANYTHING so I could move to Asia and teach ESL. Found out recently it has to be a BACHELORS degree, not an associates. ….I’m tired of being broke, tired, working a job that everyone stereotypes me as stupid for, and stuck in a town full of family I am trying to avoid.

So, I looked at options. Options that pay. Options that travel. In the Navy I will be making good money, getting some education, have time to write my books without distraction, meet new faces, see new places, AND they have programs that I can option to earn a teaching license while I’m at it. …I’ve been told numerous times that I would make an excellent teacher. …Call my ego inflated, but I believe it. At least, I know I can do a better job of it than some of the bullies I see floating through the school districts. So, when I return, I will have something to fall back on as well.

And what’s more??? I can enlist for a specific department. Something I have a true passion for. A linguist! (This has me more excited than anything.) I don’t have to pay to learn to speak another language. THEY WILL PAY ME!!! SQUEEEEE!!!!! And I will be doing a job that is based in talking, diplomacy, negotiations. NOT WEAPONS AND VIOLENCE. (though I can be fairly apt at those too.) ;)

I’ve felt something big is coming. Something life changing. This may be it. I will be meeting with a recruiter later this week, likely.

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