Sunday, May 9, 2010

Narcissus Speaks

In Which The Author Does Some Considered Navel-Gazing

I am not, oh readers, a god. I do not have magical energy, I have not attained enlightenment, and I can neither read minds nor fly under my own power. I mention these because they seem to be distressingly common misconceptions. People seem to believe that the things I notice are somehow beyond the capability of a normal mortal to notice, and that the consideration I grant my fellows - by "consideration" I presume they mean "concession to their right to be human" - could only conceivably be achieved by someone who is not (note the illogic here) actually human. Allow me to set the matter straight.

Several doctors have conclusively proven that I am, in fact, human, with human functions both physical and emotional. The odd tendency people have to doubt this is one I frankly find disturbing. I have no doubt that the way I operate in relation to other people is perhaps unusual, but it does not by any means exceed the capacity of ... well, of anyone. In this way, I am not special. I do not glitter with some indefinable enchantment.

Here's why I'm so sure. I am not, in fact, a naturally kind and forgiving person. I'm bitter, I have a propensity for impatience and grudges, I pull toward anger and selfishness like I have a faulty steering wheel. And yet, I do not spend my life being angry. I share nicely with others. I wait for small eternities without reaching to "hide or fade or fix" other people's problems, and I do not snap with the frustration of doing so. I don't ever give up on a person's potential to change. I can move past actions that bother me. I remember striking before thinking, and holding grudges beyond reason, and wishing to be the center of attention at all times and believing I deserved it. I remember not actually being aware that other people mattered. And I also remember the decisions that I made to change that. They're decisions I have to make every day, every minute, and sometimes I forget to make them the right way and I screw up, but they're conscious and deliberate and difficult and often painful.

And that's why I don't much care for accusations of transcendence or flippant praise and awe. I worked for this. A god? That's not giving me enough credit.

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