How To Win When You Can't
How To Win When You Can’t

I want to lash out out on people. On whom? People who lash out. Why do I want to lash out on people who lash out? Because they’re petty. So if I lash out on those that lash out, what does that make me? Yup, petty.

The spark for today’s essay is Grammar Nazisim. This goose-stepping menace of perfectionism that pervades Western culture is a killer that we are all too happy to participate in. Wait? Did I use the correct form of too and to there? Geez, I hope so. Wouldn’t want…

Agh! And there’s the problem. Grammar Nazis represent the worst of our nature and we collectively bring it out. We ourselves point the Luger pistols to our own heads and under threat of death, fall back in line. Since we do this to ourselves we then, in turn, make sure to turn that unattainable standard unto others.

All these similes are just cover what the problem really is: perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a killer. It stops you before you start and you can’t finish what you never start. We think and wait for things to be just right. If everything isn’t perfect for the world to see, then we don’t share it all. We are all imperfect creatures, more flawed than anything. Yet we are all unhappy with this fact, which is understandable. No one wants to display there flaws yet we must also keep in mind that that in itself is an act of disingenuity. That is a subject for another day and way too big to cover here today, but nevertheless, it’s this fear of being found out for our true, insufficient, selfs that perpetrates this mass, communal state of perfectionism.

Since we lash out to ourselves, we in turn lash out to others. Like the preverbal crabs in a bucket, we bring others down to our level, incapable of bringing people up, instead using this opportunity to bring someone back down.

And how do we do this? By making fun of their mistakes. By rounding up the kids on the playground to point and laugh at they’re mistake. (See what I did there and how much it pissed you off?)

This pettiness is understandable. We are hard on ourselves and want to justify that stringency to ourselves by imposing it on others. But the unfortunate byproduct is that we are hurting ourselves the most than that kid we are bringing back down with us by using the same tools that we use on ourselves, shame and mocking. Our ego, our dragon, our Bob, manifests itself when we allow ourselves to mock others.

So what was my impetus to write this? Pettiness, pure and simple.

I thought to myself, All these jerks that keep correcting my grammar are gonna be made to see how wrong they are by the might of my big brain! I am going to shame them into seeing how much of a big jerk faces they really are!

Unbeknownst to me, this so-called “big brain” was being nothing more than a dullard and I was matching pettiness with equal, if not more potent, pettiness which is even more pathetic.

At the end, we need to be kinder to one another. We need to be kinder to ourselves. And we need to not let what other people say or think about us affect us so much. I’m looking at you, Tony!

The reason that this hive mind of perfectionism has gotten to me is because it was one of the main immobilizing factors in my inability to write, to create, and to be myself. I am pissed (and still am) that I allowed and still allow this thinking to arrest me and my creative input. I don’t want that for anyone and if I were to be honest, the catalyst feeling is that I selfishly don’t want that sentiment for myself.

So, please. Let’s stop it. Or is it “lets” without the apostrophe. That’s what it’s called, isn’t it? Apostrophe?


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