Waterways, Habits and Curmudgeons

A dry waterway

Good Morning, God!

Jogging around Sandy’s neighborhood isn’t quite a habit, yet. But, I am working on it! Doing something over and over does create a path or waterway. I enjoy looking at the dry waterways that seem to be around every corner. Dry ones. The monsoon season is mid-summer. But, the rains, like repeated activities, leave pathways.

Our brains are full of pathways. Some useful, some not. One dysfunctional pathway is criticizing. The image of a castle springs to mind. A person who criticizes me — elicits the image of a person battering on my castle door. Ha! My first instinctive response is to want to pour boiling oil on him! Take THAT.

Mostly, I manage to refrain. After all, such Defense Acts are just as counterproductive as criticism. This all became much clearer when I came across Jay Forrester’s axiom: “In a complex system we almost always get the opposite of the result we intend.” Boy! Did THAT explain a lot!

This comes to mind as I consider siblings and, oddly enough, curmudgeons. A good friend sent me this quote by John Winokur: “Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can’t compromise their standards and can’t manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse.  Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor.”

Reading that reminded me of the curse laid on Cassandra. She was always to be “right” but never to be believed! Yes, that might well make her a curmudgeon, God! Please, Help us, God!

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Posted in Choosing to respond, complexity, courage to see myself, Expand my Heart, Feedback, Hearing
One comment on “Waterways, Habits and Curmudgeons
  1. Rebecca Woodland says:

    Oh yes, I definitely relate to this quote about curmudgeons. Hmmm… It describes me only too well.

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