As we go through the process of acquiring resources, we can see the worst of who we are.
I hold my Styrofoam cup of coffee and feel a pang at the pit of my stomach as I realize I'm caught in this animal kingdom.
I went through old "sent items" e-mails in the year 2001, trying to find a link I had embededded in an e-mail (a UH Manoa Web site that was rather obscure -- it's the page that contains classifieds for faculty). I felt like I was wading through sludge.
Last year, I was changing quickly, and awkwardly so. I was naive about how ungracious others could be. I spilled myself open to the wrong people. Innocent, sincere words. Idealistic, giddy. And the receivers found themselves in near disgust when it was all said and done. It was a tough year, not for any outwardly visible reasons, but for the storms I braved within. And seeing my e-mails again made my stomach turn. I couldn't help but be sickened by naivete.
And for awhile, I didn't want to have such "honest moments." People often prefer less emotion, less vulnerability. They want "clever." They want "intelligent." They want "sophisticated and elegant." They want to see the outside, really, since the inside is jiggly and gushy. The outside makes no threats and is lovely to look at. The inside is unwieldy and always bypasses the eyes as it sends an uncomfortable electric shock to the gut. People don't like that. Reminds them of themselves.
So, I've picked up a skill these days for outside things. These days, I'm "selectively naive."