Walking words, a bad “life” habit, and cheapened love

I don’t recall if I already mentioned it, but yesterday I did a little trial recording, using my headphone mic, while I was walking to the bus stop.  I said nothing of significance, of course, but then, the argument could be made that there is nothing that of real significance.  But let’s not venture down that path of inquiry for the moment.

I just wanted to let you know that I had done this recording, and that I am probably going to edit it (for noise reduction, at least) and post it here and probably as a YouTube video, unless it’s really just too embarrassingly dull or stupid.  Maybe there are those who will find interesting the words I self-consciously mumbled to myself on the way to the bus stop.  Maybe they really are interesting.  Perhaps I have world-changing insights when I do my walking, and I just haven’t realized it because no other person has hitherto heard them.

I wouldn’t recommend betting much money on that, but I cannot say that it has a literal zero probability.  I can just say that it’s probably close enough to zero for all practical purposes.

If I were following usual human protocols, I would tell you that I uploaded the recording to my Google Drive and then downloaded it to the desktop‒both of which are true statements‒but that I didn’t have the chance to edit it yet.  This last bit is a cop-out fiction, one of a type to which it seems almost everyone from toddlers to centenarians turn.  If I were to say I hadn’t had the chance to edit it, that would be not merely an error, but technically a lie.

I had chances to edit it; I even had times when I was relatively idle and could readily have edited it, but did not.  I simply had no will to edit it‒it’s that “executive function” thing, or whatever the current jargon is.  For most of the day yesterday, if I’d had to use mental effort to breathe, I would have suffocated.  And I would not have felt disappointed to do so, though I guess it would have been uncomfortable…for a short while, anyway.

My life is really uninteresting to me‒not in its specifics, necessarily, but in its mere fact.  It doesn’t hold any inherent interest.  It’s just a matter of habit, and I don’t know that it’s a very good habit.  It might, in fact, be a bad habit, though I guess you couldn’t call it a self-destructive one, at least not by the usual meaning of that term.

I can’t quite kick that habit yet, but I am working on it, and it is my intention to do so.  It’s just not good for me or for those around me, this life business.  Every illness and pain and sorrow that exists comes as a consequence of being alive.  I can’t recommend it as a habit.  It’s uniformly fatal, for one thing.

At the very least, we should protect the children from exposure to it‒in media, in toys, in advertising and so on.  Although…protecting the children would eventually become a moot point if one does that.

Obviously I haven’t yet thought this through fully, and also, my tongue has been in my cheek for the part where I was making recommendations for others.  I’ve no business doing that about such matters.  On the other hand, the preceding description of my personal attitude and intentions is not at all untrue; for me it’s just a matter of preparation and a bit of working up my courage.

Switching gears to other matters, but returning to notions of usual protocols among humans: is it just me, or is it just in south Florida, or is it something else, or are people saying “I love you” to coworkers and other non-family members a lot more often than people used to say it?

I don’t like it.  I could sometimes say that I hate it.

I think it’s perfectly okay for spouses and siblings and parents and children to say they love each other‒these are people one knows well, deeply, intimately, people who are integral, important parts of one’s life.  Loving them is natural, it’s good; they are in a sense part of one’s identity.

But when I hear people at work telling each other they love them, as while saying goodbye for the day or whatever, it cheapens the concept, it seems disgusting and disingenuous.  Sometimes it even seems manipulative, as though it’s an attempt to invoke a familial level of fealty and benefit by invoking such a powerful term.

To me, love is serious and important, maybe the most important non-survival-related thing in the human world, though it’s certainly not all you need*.  I don’t want co-workers telling me they love me, but sometimes they do say it.  My internal process when this happens‒in addition just to feeling squirmy and tense and uncomfortable and almost grossed-out‒is to think, “You don’t even really know me, you don’t share any common interests and experiences with me other than work, you certainly don’t seem interested in anything in which I am interested, you haven’t read my books or my blog or anything else I’ve written…you simply can’t love me, not in any sense that means anything.  You’re lying to me, to yourself, or to both.”

I suppose these people might think they are fulfilling some kind of Judeo-Christian edict of loving their neighbor as themselves or summat, but I don’t think that’s actually what they’re doing.  I think the words are a mere verbal ritual without meaning, and people throw them around haphazardly, as though giving their pre-school children plastic explosives and arc-welders as toys.

I even had a coworker‒who had requested feedback about something for the eighteen thousandth time and to whom I gave a rather sharp and impatient response‒who laughingly said, “I love you, too.”

I know it was a sarcastic, jokey remark, but I simply had to say, “I don’t love you.  I don’t hate you, either.  You’re fine.  I love my brother and sister, and I love my kids more than I knew I could love anything, and I loved my mother and father and my ex-wife and my extended family.  You are a coworker.”

It’s one thing if you’re honestly committed to the philosophy of lovingkindness, if you practice metta meditation, if you live your life not just saying the words but acting on them.  Then I think I wouldn’t be bothered by someone saying they love me, because it would not be some personal claim, or some attempt to achieve a claim upon me.  But otherwise, it’s almost insulting.  I don’t even love myself; I don’t need some person who barely knows me to claim to love me.  It’s not helpful to someone who hates himself for other people to fakely say that they love him; if anything, it merely highlights the notion that no honest person ever could really love me.

Him, I mean.  Him.

*With apologies to the Beatles.  No disrespect intended.

3 thoughts on “Walking words, a bad “life” habit, and cheapened love

  1. Love?! Hell, I’m not even friends with my coworkers. I am friendLY, but they are not friends and I certainly don’t love them. Next time someone does that, tell them it makes you uncomfortable and you will report them to HR for sexual harrassment.

Please leave a comment, I'd love to know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s