"The success of an insult depends upon the sensitiveness and the indignation of the victim"
SENECA THE YOUNGER (5? BC – 65 AD)
“On the Firmness of the Wise Man”
So I bought this book on quotes and being one who is not essentially moved by quotes of famous dead (sometimes not so much dead) people I was amazed to discover that I could not put it down. I was sitting in Borders while pretentious people sipped their over-priced lattes and sniffed at me and my non-caffeinated beverage. I ignored them. Mostly.
But this quote hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I was reflecting on a conversation of days gone by and remember thinking to myself right after, “Wow, they just made me feel really bad. I feel horrible. And it’s because of them.” But that’s not really true, now is it? Can someone really make you “feel bad” because you weren’t doing their bidding? Or is it our fault, the ones who have that hole opening in the pit of our stomachs for letting our feelings get hurt?
I am leaning toward the latter.
I feel bad – all the time. For things I didn’t do, things I won’t do, things I can never see myself doing and things that I don’t plan on doing in the near future. A few examples of these are: enjoying sushi (not gonna happen), balancing my checkbook, refraining from biting my nails, maintaining an organized closet, enjoying the company of anyone pre-pubescent, knitting, exercise, meditation or yoga, enjoying a fine wine (yech), “partying,” and reading poetry for fun.
That’s just not me.
I guess score one for me for figuring out one aspect of my personality.
Here’s hoping that I am not Sybil-esque. Seems to me like finding out one bit of who I am was hard enough, I don’t even know where to start with the other parts. What if there are too many? What if I spend forever trying to figure out who I am, piece by piece, and find out that the parts do not equal a whole? I’d be a little old lady, sitting by myself in a muu-muu and slippers reminiscing over my lost marbles.
So, if the success of the insult depends upon the victim, what does one do if they are one in the same?