Oscar Wilde admired beauty. So much so that he proudly proclaimed that he chose his friends for their good looks, his acquaintances for their characters, and his enemies for their intellect. But at least he’s honest about it, vocalizing what most people do when judging one another based on what the eyes, not the minds, see for the instant recognition of optical illusion morphed into reality.
Our society favors gregarious extroverts, not reticent introverts nestled in the shade of anonymity, not because they are myogenic but simply because that’s how they are. Not everyone is uniformly outgoing. Nobody is impossibly happy go lucky. I always find it scary that having a happy face all the time is a specialty of a psychopath in disguise. But people do not usually warm to those who are lonely, quiet, or not so attractive, instead pinning them down as anti-social, incompetent, or negative to stay away from them. It amazes me to see people gossip about or ostracize unpopular, reticent people the way people falsely accused innocent women of practicing witchcraft in the past because they were in their selves. Or are they still? Come to think of it; if I had been born during the days of heightened witch-hunting, I would have been burned at the stake.
I feel that people do not like to talk to me because I don’t have the face of Helen of Troy to launch a thousand ships or do not open up a conversation first, or because of my race being Asian, a race stereotyped as being docile, if not submissive, to voice out what’s kept inside. Notwithstanding the account above, I do not want to force myself to become someone I am not, cannot, and will not because, as Wilde pinpointed, I am myself since others are already taken. I am not a negative person who always accounts for a litany of woes. Instead, I can see people’s ills in the swing of things around me and how they affect me. If discussing the malaise of what’s happening in my life when I need a company to share grief in halves, I call it cruelly erroneous and unjust.
There are differences between a sycophant and a yes man/woman. The former curries favor from an influential person employing flattering, whereas the latter- usually the meek and vulnerable- tries to protect a self from retaliation or bullying by sacrificing even a little leisure of comfort within a castle of own as a luxury to survive in their rule of the jungle. In that regard, I consider myself the latter who hardly says no to egoists.
I am something of Diana, the beautiful friend of Anne Shirley of the Green Gables, the sweet but also fiercely passionate literary blue-stocking girl whose headstrong pride and vividly adventurous spirit put her soft-spoken, amiable bosom friend in trouble. Diana’s fragile sensitivity and delicate femininity deter her from voicing out her mind. Hence she is seen as meek or less intellectual even than Anne, who is a vivid talker able to account a thread of stories woven by her trademark imaginativeness. But that’s not what it seems, and we know it. Well, at least I do because I relate myself to Diana in terms of timidity translated into self-consciousness. But then it is also a quick and painless way to judge one’s character based on the appearance and social backgrounds. Isn’t it so?
I say yes to those who bully, dislike, and disregard me to avoid unnecessary confrontations that will shatter the windows of my glass heart. No, I am not a coward, never, because a coward blindly gives into the will of the other.
I wish I could do more writing every day than I do now. Things are not the same any longer: until last year, I always found myself to write just about anything after work at night or even during my lunchtime at work. But gone are the days.
Maybe it’s because the routine of my work at my job changed. But then, I guess it’s just my lame excuse for not exerting myself to express myself in writing, which I love doing. I often wonder if this is my becoming disaffected with the quality of my writing, which used to be better than now. Some say it’s due to stress from work and attending to my infirm elderly mother at home, or both. Maybe so.
Elsie Robinson, who wrote the popular column “Listen, World” in the early and mid-20th century, encouraged her readers to write anything daily, like writing an article for a newspaper or magazine of their own. I think it’s a great idea. So maybe I should do the same every day.
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