Monday, January 4, 2010

The Limits of Good Behavior


...recently banned myself, for the second time, from one of those social networking sites...also known as virtual communities...frequented by bloggers...renowned for controversy, arguments, ad hominem attacks, general rudeness, underhandedness, melodramatic exits, passive aggression, not-so-passive aggression, not-at-all-passive aggression, cyber-bullying, trolling, political, religious, and ironic extremism, behavior that could be seen as indicative of anti-social disorders, ordinary madness, extraordinary madness, Tourette’s syndrome, and/or extreme boredom...and for people getting banned by the management...tending, ironically enough, to cause only more of the above...

...banning myself, however, causes none of that...which is the point...

...generally speaking I’m with Rodney King...and the Buddha...and Karen Carpenter...and others whose names I can’t think of at the moment...though I'm almost positive they exist...in thinking it’s a good idea to try and get along with people...practice loving kindness...radiate compassion for all beings...namaste, and all that warm huggy shit....trouble is, I’m not always particularly good at it...particularly when people piss me off...by, for instance, writing self-righteous crap that’s so stupid and offensive that their despicable lack of loving kindness and compassion and open accepting yogic attitude makes me wanna smack ‘em upside the...you get the idea...

...thus, while transcending bad behavior to be a Floating Glowing Being of Pure Love remains the long-term goal, it occurs to me that, sometimes, acknowledging limitations and removing myself from the situation might be a more prudent course...particularly when it comes the impulse, in certain circumstances, when sorely provoked...usually...to act like a dick...

...which, to further complicate things, I tend to be good at...as becomes clear when, giving heartfelt, highly penitent confessions to close friends about shameful incidents from the past in which I playfully messed with people’s heads in horrible, sadistic ways, I’m rewarded with uproarious laughter and compliments on my clever, sharp-as-the-head-of-a-pin-no-self-respecting-angel-would-be-caught-dead-dancing-on wit...

...then, on the other hand...last week, I was dogsitting...enthusiastic greetings, happy walks, warm companionship...it’s all good...except, one day, my doggie friend had some...ahem...gastro-intestinal problems...and, to make matters worse, I slept in...finally wandering out to see her not, as per usual, enthusiastically stretching for her morning walk in a truly authentic downward facing dog pose, but lying on her doggie cushion with a very sheepish doggie look on her face....see, the thing about this particular doggie friend is that she behaves notoriously well...where the typical domestic canine will whine loudly, bark even more loudly, scratch at the bedroom door, and whine and bark and scratch some more until the resident human, unable to remain sleeping or anything else, gets up to let her out, this fully realized Adorable Furry Being of Pure Sweetness is so well behaved that she suffers in silence ’til she can take no more and quietly tromps down the stairs to crap on the basement carpet...demonstrating, I think, that even good behavior has its limits...

14 comments:

Lana Gramlich said...

I hear this is a backwards kind of way. I was much more of a Bodhisatva (sp?) when I lived in relative solitude. Forcing myself to get out, among the masses destroyed my centered peace & faith in humanity utterly. Now I know why the "wise ones" live a hermit's existence. It seems the only way to maintain it. Unfortunately I've come to admit that I'm probably never getting back there again.

earthtoholly said...

Sounds like both you and Lucy have a knack for keeping above the fray, drjay. When things get rough at the dog park, she walks away...lets all the other doggies duke it out. It's always nice to see man and beast take the high road.

Hee-hee...that's a good doggie story...not so good for that carpet. Luckily, Lucy whines when she has such troubles, but then again, she whines when she has no troubles, so we're covered.

the walking man said...

Fuck 'em. I alone am the maintainer of my inner being and if it takes a flipped middle finger and some rude words to do it then *shrug* fuck it.

I will never intentionally hand someone a plate of shit but then on the other hand I will never accept one either. If that takes my enlightened status away then I suggest that enlightenment update itself to take into account the shit laying on the basement carpet.

Eco Yogini said...

yep, restraint is a good thing. i avoid certain situations or circumstances that upset me... like those cyber communities... or reading comments on news stories. or watching the news lol.

however, i am on the other end- i suck at being clever or witty, and end up getting upset etc etc. i think the right portion of my cerebral hemisphere which controls sarcasm has had an infarct of some sort... since sarcasm doesn't exist in my world lol.

Brooks Hall said...

Funny... I guess it's also good to know how to speak up! That ending is a real zinger. Do you have something that you need to say (before it's too late...)?

I know I've needed to forgive myself for past meanness. Everybody can be a dick or bitch at one time or another... And sometimes I see that my fear of repeating past meanness can possibly prevent me from enjoying right now.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I have to say I am with the Walking Man on this one. Sometimes rudeness is the only thing sharp enough to pierce the bubble of someone's ignorance and false bravado. For some people, kindness and civility are foreign langauges.

It is a good thing to pick your battles. But it is also allowable, permissible and understandable that you have personal boundaries that should be maintained.


As far as poop. When you gotta go, you gotta go. The puppy couldnt hold a second longer. Sounds to me like she went in the basement because its the leasted used area in the house. So technically she was still trying to be good, even when she absolutely could not hold it in a moment longer.

DQ's Windmill said...

Purpose of life: Learning to deal with the impulse to act like a d*@#!

Melinda said...

Perhaps you should change your name to "Fly Above Jay?" Although being a Floating Glowing Being of Pure Love certainly is a more noteworthy title!

I pretty much banned myself from the same blogging site and find myself much happier without being assaulted by idiots, malcontents, and those who are just plain EFFING CRAZY! Life is just too short!

Sometimes it IS important to make a stand--but honestly, only when you feel that stand is going to have some long term good/solution to a problem---and thus with the aforementioned site, I doubt that could really be the case.

Here's to looking at you, kid! When ya coming to Boston???

xx,

Melinda

Nancy said...

There are times I type out a long diatribe releasing all the poison and venom I can toward every whacked, insane person who slams me or whoever. Then I delete it all before I submit it. Thus, the venom is gone and I keep above the fray demonstrating that the saying, "he who loses it - loses" is true. No one knows but me while everyone else is amazed at my ability to "stay calm" and not "lose it". Ha!

WR said...

Perhaps 'they'(the folks who don't care if they are 'dicks') need a safe place to be angry? It is unpleasant and certainly provocative behavior...undoubtedly banning oneself is right route (right as in ok rather than say Glenn Beck right).

Lucy did her best and she knows that's why the cosmic other invented that odor & stain remover for the carpet!

berenice said...

hi Dr. Jay, it is always fun to read you, regardless if you are bitching at the cyberspace or relating the indigestion of that little sweet dog, you always make me laugh with your writing!

and sure, it's good to be mad, and angry, sometimes, but even better is to get over it sooner than later, and putting distance to not-so-happy situations and to run even farther from nasty people either online or in person...

dunno why i remember now one my favorite Buddha quotes: "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
-Buddha

on the pooping sweet dog, what a lovely creature, i am glad that you had such nice company for a couple of days, pets are great, and indeed a lot of work, i have to former homeless cats who wonder the alleys and my neighbor's garden, and when one is not sick 'cause indulging on crickets she hunted all night, the other was has a hairball or two... i feed a skunk too and many wild birds, so my little yard and home are happy but there's always something to clean, or stink to get rid off... warm furry friendships come with a high price to one's nose ;)

Bird said...

Best bit of advice I ever got about dealing when an argument or debate gets kind of weird and twisted (though ultimately my head still went kablooey) was from a woman who was the director of the environmental group I worked for. She said that if the other person is just picking a fight, if they are not remotely open to new ideas, walk away IMMEDIATELY. Do not ever waste your time on a brick wall. You might think "but the power and the truth of my argument must ultimately win..." uh-huh, it won't if you are talking to a jackass whose only reason to exist is to bait you for fun or because their reward is to thwart you. It didn't quite get rid of my whole angry young woman thing but I did learn to choose my battles more wisely and I still live by it now. Just step away from the jackass...

...it's an even harder thing to stop being that jackass, and I'm still working on that. I just wish you hadn't put the idea of poop as a means of communication into my head :D

RB said...

One of my teachers mentioned her "sharp wit" as a big thing that she ultimately had to surrender. She said that it was an ego thing; if you're smart and funny you start to feel good about it, but in reality it's just hurtful, and if you commit yourself to not being that way, it's gotta go.

Yoga Network said...

Staying true is much harder than staying moral, and staying moral is much harder than it looks.