My ears did not wish to hear what you said
My eyes grew tired of the view
I walked away
And the air became breathable again.
Why do we linger near things we revile
as our insides shrink
our minds rebel
and still we stand as if fixed in place
like statues that the birds find a perch upon
their excrement forming white runnels
Why do we not simply move away instead?
And let everything change
of its own accord
* The knack of becoming deaf and blind to the things we don’t want to hear or see, things that disturb us in conversation, on social media, or anywhere else where we cannot change the person or the circumstance, is a skill worth developing. There is much we cannot change.
But how can we become immune to the harpy, the critic, the gossip, the long-winded bore, the egotistical nitwit, the complainer, the person who is just plain toxic?
I was talking to one of the most peaceful people I know about this awhile ago
“Oh if someone is annoying me, I just walk away” she said.
And her solution sounded remarkably similar to my mother’s oft-quoted “turn the other cheek”.
We can hear this sort of advice millions of times, but unless we have decided to protect our peace at all costs – as a priority – then we can fall into the trap of drama instead. Perhaps the advice finally resonated with me because I have made that pact with peace. So simple. So easy. The serenity prayer personified.
Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Letting people be whomever they need to be in the moment while protecting our peace, and moving away from the circumstances that threaten it, is the best way to change everything subtly. It is the only way I have found it possible to “be the change” that Gandhi suggests we wish to see in this world. I have never altered a single person around me by commenting, but I’ve changed plenty by simply choosing to see the best and ignoring the irritating. Mostly, I’ve changed myself and that of course, made all the difference.
6 thoughts on “Playing Statues”
I think I’ve mostly solved this by addressing issues and not people. I do that on WordPress and Substack and occasionally I send a really well-written article (not mine) to my friends. A few of them cancelled me totally some time ago when they found out I was a libertarian or that I objected to censorship, but I’ve retained the important ones. I have a couple close friends who don’t agree on everything, but they consider what I say. But I have enough support system with people who agree with me and I am careful (as I used to be when I criticized organized religion) to confine my criticism to the religion and not to insult or judge individual people who adhere to a religion or political philosophy. My general rule: don’t judge individuals (except politicians); I just judge policies and ideology. I guess the only people I really lost were those that believed I should be silenced. Or vaccines should be mandated. And that is no big loss. But it gets easier as time goes by, to negotiate social situations and to have my own peace of mind. And I’ve even repaired two close relationships. I did lose a 30-year friendship with a guy I knew was a cross-dresser. My father and I both supported him and kept his secret. He cancelled me and called me a lot of names because I didn’t think children should be sexualized, trans stuff normalized or other people teaching my children about issues like this, and didn’t think they should do life altering surgery before 18. That was kind of sad for a while. But he has a lot of mental health issues besides that and I try to remember that. These times have been hard on all of us.
Hi Lynn good to hear from you. You make some really good points here, I think the way in which we are able to interact with each other has changed so much and so fast. My grandfather lived on a property two hours out of town and got his only news via a little radio. He wouldn’t have been able to comment on anything quickly even if he had the opportunity to hear about it in a timely manner. My parents were nearly the same though when I was a teenager they got television finally. And then there is us, more social media and media than we can possibly consume and the opportunity to form and opinion and comment any time we want – like any progress it’s good and it’s bad and it has its own unique problems. Difficult.
I make it a point to stay away from things that I find toxic as much as possible. That obviously doesn’t mean I bury my head in the sand, it just means I protect myself. Great post and I very much agree with what you said.
Thanks for reading Pooja, I’m glad you protect your energy, it’s as important as choosing a healthier lifestyle to mental well being.
I can relate to this: a former relationship ……
Well you’re not a statue then John – well done 😊