“Don’t tell me what you believe in. I’ll observe how you behave and I will make my own determination.”
– Alex Trebek
WordPress does not allow for variations in the title font, so I’ll repeat it, the way I want it to look, down here:
The way of Who You Are
Those italics are important. They help you to understand that I am not referring to some generic sense of being; they put the “Are” squarely in the reality of here and now.
“Announcing your intentions is the best way to hear God laugh.” – a lot of people, really, but I’m quoting Al Swearengen from the series, Deadwood
Generally, the world looks at you through your words and actions. If you spend a lot of time talking about things you are going to do, but never follow through with any discernible actions–in regard to your words–the world sees you as being a blow-hard, a stuffed shirt, a braggart… in short, a bullshit artist most aren’t even artists. Or you could be the type of person who says they’re going to do something, then sets about doing it, because that’s who they are; that’s what they do.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell
Then, there are the quiet people. They know there is something that should be done, but they don’t talk about it. Instead, they quietly but determinedly work toward what they believe needs doing. Sometimes, the things that need doing are not things anyone else needs to know about.
What you don’t know can’t hurt me.
My dad was a typical World War II tough guy, and the man was positively haunted by things done and seen in his past. Things he would never tell another living soul – except me. See, he was the kind of locked-down person who could only reveal his dearest dreams and darkest nightmares when he was drunk, and not always then.
I am stronger than he will ever know.
Because I was more intellectual than athletic, I rarely lived up to my dad’s vision of manliness (Ned, why do keep doing such crazy, dangerous things? Hey, everybody’s got issues). So, for the most part, I was treated as one would any great disappointment… until we sat down to watch a WWII show on TV. Have I mentioned that dad got drunk every night? So, he would be sitting in his arm chair, drinking, I’d be on the couch, and “Black Sheep Squadron”, a TV show about WWII fighter pilots, would come on. Then I would learn more from my dad about WWII, in the Pacific, than is typically–hell, ever–taught in schools. And not once did I ever mention any of it to anyone, not even to him. I did not judge him by anything he told me about, not only for the obvious reason that he was talking about wartime situations, but more importantly, because that was not who he was while I knew him. I had other things I could judge him on, but that’s not the point.
“If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts.” – Adam Duritz
There are still a lot of people like my dad who, although they’ve never been to war, have seen, experienced, and done things they feel are best left in the dark corners of their minds. Yet, those memories haunt them, and glimpses are only revealed under certain circumstances. The strong, intelligent ones learn from those ghosts, and quietly set about to become the best person they can be. And by virtue of that effort, that’s who they are. You may often have unkind thoughts; you may have flashes of mental rage; you may think of running away and leaving all your responsibilities behind you. All that really matters are the thoughts you act on: to the rest of the world, that’s who you are.
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus
Your true friends are the ones who know what you could have been, see you for who you are, and never judge you by who you were.
Sometimes friends are there to challenge you to actually be as good as you think you are.
Sometimes friends are there to reassure you that you’re already better than you think you are.
The thing is, you can be a bad-assed bitch without being thought of as a bitch. It’s all in who you are.
Welcome to a new week, bad-assed bitches!