3/5/14

Abrasive . . .

In this life there are a lot of names and labels I don't want to be burdened with . . .

Dumb
Thin
Bland
Dank
Disinterested
Listless (a far harsh word than I, until recently, believed it to be)
Spiteful

And there are tons I am happy to carry the weight of and/or aspire to someday truly deserve . . .

Expert Witness for the Prosecution
Dr. (of letters, not medicine)
Confident
Empathetic
Mensch
Well Read
Father

Above all these descriptors I ENJOY there is maybe none more than . . . Abrasive.  Yes. Abrasive. As in "showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh" and "capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding". Either one. Seriously. HOW can I want to be empathetic but acknowledge I AM abrasive?

Simple. Not all feelings are worth the time and energy. Seriously. I recently had a person "de-friend" me on Facebook because every time she talked about RESCUE dogs I would laugh a little and make fun of her a lot. "What are they being rescued FROM?", I would ask - antagonistically. I am fine with her loving all of G-d's four legged, bad breathed, flea carrying, domesticated only for human work and comfort vs. the plan of their lineage, not going to live as long as you no matter what creatures. That is a BEAUTIFUL thing. But I don't have to appreciate, accept, or encourage it. She resents my feelings on her feelings - and I'm okay with that.

I had a colleague - just the other day - tell me, via e-mail, that I was abrasive. I typed back "Never in my life has being called 'abrasive' left me softened or remorseful." Your feelings are hurt because I don't just want to do your work? Because I won't surrender my limited support resources to do your work? Boohoo. Seriously. That and a box of facial tissue will get you nothing. But there was something in the words chosen that made me happy . . . I was labeled abrasive.

Here's the thing . . . abrasive is not something we should fear. Being an ASSH*LE is. Think they are the same? I think you need a broader, deeper, more robust vocabulary and to understand the nuance of people who don't put politeness first. I am fine with abrasive. I like abrasive. That means I'm still who I always vowed to be. That means I'm still able of challenging and resisting and not being warm and fuzzy.

Know what is abrasive? Sand. Know what sand causes? Change. Reaction. Comparisons like so many grains on the beach. Pearls. Know what else is abrasive? Wind. Water. Heat. Know what they cause? Change. Reaction. Life. Death. Pearls.

Want to insult me? Dig deeper in the thesaurus than abrasive . . . go for caustic. There are NO positive traits, silver linings, or pearls in either common definition of that word.