Bill St. Clair very kindly emailed me this morning, bringing my attention to an addition to one of his web sites that he thought I would particularly appreciate. Even though we’ve not yet met in person, he knows me well.
The message is joy and happiness; he expands upon it a bit in a blog post, too. The first three lines spoke to me especially deeply:
Eat joy. Speak happiness.
If sad or angry, don't talk or eat. Drink water, but nothing else.
If someone else is speaking anger or sadness, love them, or, if you can't love them, speak happiness or be quiet.
This is the direction I have been trying to take for some time, albeit I doubt I could have elucidated that as clearly as Bill has. The negative energy that sometimes (or often; or, in the case of a few individuals, always) suffuses some pro-freedom folks’ words typically acts as an instant drain on my energy. In such situations, I have had a very hard time trying to speak happiness and continuing to feel warm feelings toward the person—and no small part of the former is my concern that my efforts to share positive energy will be rebuffed as Pollyannaish, or scoffed at. From there it’s a short trip into the brambles ... and my way of being has tended, once there, to lean toward being quiet rather than trying to spread happiness—especially, again, where I think it will be actively rejected. That was part of my departure from a couple of my former haunts.
More recently, other sources have encouraged pursuing the course Bill identifies; and frankly, it frequently seems to me even more quixotish than Quixote’s own quest. Like anyone who’s lived a fair number of days, I have people I care about, yet who wear on me, sometimes steadily and regularly. Am I doing anything good by continuing to speak happiness to such individuals?
Also, it has me wondering about a point Bill mentions at the end of his blog post, and which Gandhi addressed several times—one is currently atop the right sidebar (or can be found here if the quotation has since been changed there). Where self defense appears to necessitate violence, what will I do? For now, I hope never to confront that issue in my remaining days.