It’s not easy to share one’s views, feelings and discoveries and have them accomplish much in the world outside one’s own mind.
About the only “world” it’s easy to influence is one’s own personal lowercase “w” world. Learning what works well is most easily accepted as “what works well for you.” Even presuming that something might work well for someone else can be offensive. Even adults can have a perfectly understandable, yet almost reflexive “you’re not the boss of me” five-year-old’s reaction.
Sometimes that’s fine.
Sometimes it’s hard.
Good and generous people want to share. Good and generous people want to help. Good and generous people have a hard time not wanting to… teach.
Being an English major (or having been and English major, depending on your perspective), I very often got told…
“Oh. So you want to be a teacher?”
I never craved being a teacher. Sad, in a way.
Actually, that’s not strictly true. I did have a period of time when I enjoyed teaching. It came during the 4 or so years that I found myself enamored with tabletop games. Board games, you could say. I know I’ve talked about this a bit before, but I taught kids at schools, aspired to share them with the community in a library way, and even wrote philosophical treatises on the value of them as games compared to videogames.
I had several things working against me. One was the reclusive, rural region. Cold winters. An antisocial tendency. Warmer, or even west-of-the-Mississippi, climes, would have helped. I got nowhere.
The fact that I was suggesting change made it hard. Sure I went to school boards with propositions to give kids social alternatives to videogames. But… everyone was so… busy. And my how much faith I would have had to have, to maintain, and how much failure I would have had to stomach, and digest for nutrients. In the end… friends and cancer broke me. Just too much.
But I also trace it to a lack of charisma. A lack of… something in the face, the eyes, the demeanor. I’ve always lacked it. A magnetic, warming, ice-breaking air that draws people to me and encourages people to partake of what I have and offer.
It’s hard to watch the people that DO have charisma. The envy I feel is so potent.
I know a bipolar man who is able to bail himself out of so much anger, anger arising from his horrible behavior, by dint of his natural charisma. It makes (made really, as I don’t encounter him anymore) me so dizzy and envious. Jealous.
It’s kind of like… Stiva Oblonsky in “Anna Karenina,” pictured below as played by Matthew Macfadyen in the 2012 film version.
Ah, his easy way. How everyone warmed the instant they saw him. His natural tact. He didn’t have to work at all to warm hearts.
Of course he had deeper problems. His simple, hedonistic love of life, like the bipolar man’s I mentioned, could hurt deeply. His wife, for example. Below, as portrayed by Kelly Macdonald in the same film based on the same book.
There. You can sense how trapped Oblonsky made her. He loved her, yes.
But his womanizing, and his inability to see that… having children is not all that a woman could want. Nor could he see her pain at how bearing and raising five children stole her youth and beauty, leaving him, a strapping young man, feeling it to be unjust that there be a restriction placed on his sensual, love-giving emotions.
Sometimes I wonder what I could do, were I gifted with the bipolar man’s charisma, or Oblonsky’s.
Would people be anxious to do the five rites, which I’ve done almost daily for 15 years, and stayed youthful by doing?
I often feel people looking at me, studying and sensing about me, when I bring them up. Or when they’re around me and see the results.
They “know” it would be a good idea to learn from me.
But for some reason that aggravates them… they just don’t… FEEL it. And so they are left with little choice but to adopt one of the many shades of denial. Never mind that for less than ten minutes a day they too could anchor their care for their bodies, as they face the inevitable trials of getting older.
They just don’t feel it. They would, perhaps, for Oblonsky or for the bipolar man. People can feel warm devotion for very bad and hurtful people who have charisma, and very little interest at all for good and helpful people without it.
Do you remember my blog post about chocolate?
Do you like coffee? Do you fear it? Chocolate has a similar, but to me superior, effect to coffee.
Do you eat chocolate?
Do you regard it as junk food but eat it anyway?
Do you want to have more energy? A warm feeling? Various health benefits? To feel better the next day, as opposed to the “worse” that alcohol brings?
And yet not one person I’ve told about the results of my innovative thinking about chocolate, my open minded creativity, has shown any interest in even trying a small version of it. What would be so hard about mixing a quarter cup of pure cocoa powder with water, plain Greek yogurt and coconut sugar, and then drinking it like Nestle Quik? I guess imagine even that “you might be right” act feels to others like… some thing “weird Amos” does, an odd man they admit they respect, but who has “too many problems” to be someone they want to actually imitate in any way. He should be kept at arm’s length. Like… he has a hard time just loving life so that must mean I shouldn’t be as open minded as him. Like… he should just accept things better as they are.
If cocoa had such benefits (like I used to doubt how amazing board games could be, before Christmas of 2005), obviously they would have heard about it by then. The mainstream would know. And so feelings rise up to protect the varying shades of the “mother culture.”
A problematic culture, in a “civilized” culture that’s devouring the World.
And yet it’s safer to be conventionally wrong than unconventionally right. Reminds me of the Irish proverb.
“The believer is happy, the doubter is wise.”
And Amos? Like many others? He’s not someone who’s got it all figured out. There’s the common fault in logic that may arise. If someone has flaws and an unusual behavior… then probably the flaws are the result of the unusual behavior, right?
I think it’s called “specious reasoning.” I see it often. A defense of the status quo.
Of what we wish to believe. Of what’s easy. Comfortable.
Cue “The Simpsons”!
You know what?
I want a tiger-repelling rock!!!
It occurs to me that I may be coming off as someone who thinks he’s a genius or something, rather than someone who just thinks he’s easily dismissed? Feedback on that?
All that stuff is one of the reasons I have trouble having faith in trying to sell my writing or my creative endeavors. I’ve had, for ages, had a devilishly hard time convincing people of the value of something I like. Movies. TV shows. Videogames. Etc. I mean, sometimes I’m in the right mood (I’m too erratic), or have some booze in me, or am at a birthday party of mine which strips me of my usual fear and doubt in the value others place in and on me.
But other times?
Jesus. You should see and hear me try to describe my writing. I wouldn’t even want to read it if I heard that crap.
Is confidence the key? And does confidence intermingle with faith? What role, or relation, does religion play? The ability to believe in the face of a lack of evidence, or even of contradictory evidence?
Life would be so easy if my logic would just… let go and let me believe in a faith. Any faith. I know the feeling: the warm, cozy, wide-eyed certainty. The total lack of caring about any doubts or fears or complicated arguments against it. It just feels right, and therefore it must be right.
I’d like to inspire it.
Maybe if I felt it I could inspire it. I think I did, to a degree, inspire it, back when I felt faith in board games. Not that I didn’t also push too hard to bring family and friends into it, at gatherings for other purposes, wanting to share so much that I “did what I felt was right” int he face of knowing that I only could see those people very rarely. I felt faith in the good that what I believed could do. And it shielded me from… that poisonous over-concern with” what other people think.”
I suppose I agree.
But I also know that, while it would allow me to follow, or even have, dreams… it also opens the door more to… hurting people.
Not that me being trapped by fear and a lack of World-beating passion doesn’t also hurt the people I care about. You know the guilt I’ve spoken of here. About “talent.” About what games to play. About writing.
I suppose I just… need to find enough charisma in my soul to… entrance myself.
That works for you too, you know.