She Listened With Her Eyes

I haven’t posted on my blog in a while. Most of my thoughts have been more spontaneous sharing on Twitter. But I think longer format writing allows for better explaining.

It’s been very interesting to see the responses of people. Who knew that stating “Don’t take all tweets as expert opinion”, “All lives matter”, and “Take personal accountability over your life”, would be so offensive. Apparently, these statements are so offensive that they merit attacking me with messages like “fuck you, racist”, “you’re tone deaf because you’re privileged”, “you’re an elitist dick”, and even things out of nowhere like, “dutertard”, “gago”, and “patayin na’to” (kill him already). These tweets and private messages don’t bother me as they’re usually as empty as the contributions of those who sent them. Virtue signaling is hardly ever the sign of those who have already been active in fighting injustice, but rather a mark of those emotionally triggered, personally guilty, and lacking tangible effort. It’s like many people who attend finance seminars or church. They do it to feel like they’re doing something about their finances or their souls when they’re really not saving, giving, praying, obeying, or living out any of the things they signal while in the moment.

victimhood is so emotionally-charged that many times I’ve needed others to yank me out of my own personal quicksand. The pull of my pain was many times too strong for me to overcome alone. I needed someone who cared more about me more than he or she feared to offend me.

But this post isn’t about the vanity of keyboard warriors and the dangers of call-out culture. More than talking about how other lifestyles are detrimental (lifestyles people are free to live), I’d like to focus on what I think are better approaches to living. These are personal reflections, so feel free to come up with your own conclusions. My goal with my blog is not to convince but to share. Part of the fun of life is developing your own voice.

In one of my controversial posts on Twitter, I shared:

“Too many people believe that the quality of their life or the lives of others is a function of the empathy of the world around them.

Think differently.

The quality of your life is not mostly how life treats you but how you respond to whatever life throws in an excellent way.”

For the most part, the response was very positive, but there were a few noisy offended people who hit back. One of the best ways to offend people is deny them the excuse of being a victim. I know this because I hate it when people don’t let me feel bad when someone else wrongs me. Even as a boy, whenever I said statements like “It’s unfair” or “I’m like this because this happened”, my parents would be quick to discipline that thinking away and say, “So it happened. No one is denying it. So it’s hard. No one is denying that. Now how are you going to respond? Because how you respond to life will affect you way more than what happens to you.” I hated it then and I still don’t enjoy it now, but to be pulled out of my victimhood over and over has been good for me. I say pulled-out because victimhood is so emotionally-charged that many times I’ve needed others to yank me out of my own personal quicksand. The pull of my pain was many times too strong for me to overcome alone. I needed someone who cared more about me more than he or she feared to offend me. I am fortunate that I have people who loved me enough not to enable my unproductive thoughts and help me channel my frustrations towards a proactive response.

This leads me to the one realization I want to share: The quality of my life is not based on my material possessions, my current circumstances, nor my lack of suffering. I’ve found that the most influential factor in the quality of my life is the quality of the people around me and the quality of the connections we share. In other words, high-quality relationships with high-quality people are what determines the quality of my life

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