Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Arrogance In Quietness

When I was a child, our family would travel to Chicago to visit relatives every summer. All of the kids would sleep in the basement at my grandmother's house. There were three beds in the basement, a desk, a Ping-Pong table, a dining table, a washer and dryer, shelves full of knickknacks, a large freezer, an old sink, and lots of treasures stashed away. There was plenty to explore down there. I liked this. When everyone left to spend their days above, I was grateful to sometimes have the basement to myself.

While exploring down there one summer, I came across a journal that my aunt had written (though I didn't realize it was my aunt's at the time). Among other things she'd penned, one of the things that I remembered most was a comment about my grandmother's opinion towards quietness.

"Ma told me not to be so quiet," she wrote. "She says that people who don't talk act like they're better than everyone else."

This stuck with me for a long time. I didn't understand my grandmother's opinion, especially since my experience had proven the opposite. I always felt that people saw me as inferior because I didn't say much. It was interesting to me that there could be opposing perspectives. At some point, I wrote about this experience in my own journal.

And, of course, karma would demand that my journals would also be invaded at some point. My mom, possibly the nosiest person ever, somehow found a way to read my journals no matter where I hid them. One day, she saw my notes about my grandmother's opinion, and she tried to convince me that it wasn't so. I didn't really need convincing, though. I loved my grandmother, and I held no grudges against her, regardless of her opinion. Though nice of my mom, I suppose, she needn't have tried to protect me. People have different perspectives, and it was important for me to know that. Whereas many times I felt like the world was against me, or against quiet people, apparently others felt the opposite -- that quiet people were against the rest of the world.

Gaining perspective doesn't really solve anything, but it sometimes helps to temper your views of the world. Instead of wondering why everyone treats you like you're doing something wrong, you begin to wonder why everyone (including yourself) has it all wrong.

 

6 comments:

Laoch of Chicago said...

If my mother insisted on reading my journals I certainly would have created a cipher to thwart her.

The Silent One said...

Great post as always....

Zeri Kyd said...

Laoch, I often thought about trying that. Unfortunately, encrypting my entire journal would have taken quite a while.

Silent One, I appreciate your feedback.

Peaceful said...

Interesting,
I always wondered why I was an outcast in school- especially that now I am finding out the boys had crushes...wtf I thought there was something majorly wrong with me.
Oh, I saw an interesting 'test' for antisocial tendencies-
How do you feel after leaving a party?
1. Energized
2. Exhausted & happy to get out of there.
--I am #2, and will actually go into the bathroom to decompress.

Peaceful said...

(while at the party)....
Ok, now that I read that I laughed-
going into the bathroom to "decompress" LOL!

Zeri Kyd said...

Jade, funny :-). I'm usually exhausted, too. I don't think "antisocial" is the right word, though. But maybe that was the test you saw.