Dude, You’re Clueless

12-18-2020: Have you ever encountered a ‘know it all’? You probably have, most people recognize one when we see one. How about the opposite, maybe someone that is so ‘shy’ that they won’t share their knowledge because they are more concerned about what other people are thinking of them? There are a million types of egos in between too-- some are healthy, most are not, there are too many unhealthy egos in our world.

Identifying a ‘warped ego’ in someone is a good ‘start’, because you understand there is something about them that isn’t quite right. Maybe you know exactly what’s not quite ‘right’ and are healthy enough in your own head to help that person, but most people can’t…it’s kind of like emotions. Emotions will let you know that something is up, but they will never tell you the whole story, they can’t, they just let you know that SOMETHING is going on here… after that your ego takes over.

Some people that notice that someone is ‘off’ also know enough to exploit that person or their emotions, maybe they make it a game to satisfy their own weak ego, to maybe… pick on that person, try to get them angry, get them riled-up, you know, try to exploit that person’s weakness.   You’ve seen that before, maybe they pass it off as “what, it’s just good fun”, or “I’m just picking on you”. You know, someone that thinks they are smarter than everyone else, and to appease their own ego they exploit the other guy’s weaknesses. You probably don’t do that, but some folks do, I know that I’ve done that more than once. Some people are so good at it that they make a career from just doing that… Maybe some comedians, maybe some actors, maybe it’s a buddy that knows how to tear into anyone about anything, some people do that too. Actors and comedians that do that aren’t worth looking up to, or taking advice from, they are probably so screwed-up that they won’t deal with their own weaknesses, so they deflect/divert (slight of hand), and point it out in others instead of taking care of themselves… I might be wrong, or probably over-simplified, but some people do that too.

I might be wrong because I don’t hold any credentials or professional degrees in the things that I write about, maybe someday I will, but not now. I’m not the type of guy that others go to for advice, because I’ve been a ‘functional’ screw-up most of my life. But maybe you like my writing style and my words speak clearly to you, so maybe I sound like a smart guy, but I’m not. I am a person that has taken anti-depressants and anti-anxiety and then even another pill to fall asleep-- for quite a while, a borderline basket-case if you will. After 10 months of freaking out about things that were completely out of my control during the effects of the current pandemic… well that’s what it took for me to gain some clarity and understanding in my life… in my head.
Maybe my words are too simple for you but the ideas are interesting, then don’t be lazy because it isn’t difficult to google something like ‘ego and dysfunction’ and let the pros do their thing… I wish that professional smart people learned how to write for low-educated people like myself, what use is it to be smart but then write in a way that maybe 10% of the world’s population can understand you, what’s so smart about that. But my point is that if you think that you want to learn more about yourself and understand that no one is perfect it becomes your responsibility to learn more about yourself and the possible dysfunction in your own life.

I think that using examples from my past is scary because I tend to be short, direct, and hurtful, but maybe I can articulate my thoughts now in a way that isn’t all that. I follow a religious system that is founded on the teachings and the life-example of one plain and simple man, that didn’t… drive the latest car, or wear attractive clothing, and He certainly didn’t hang out with the cool people and celebrities of his day, and He didn’t have to try to trick people or deceive them in such a way as to make ‘followers’ out of them, and last, He believed in what He taught to point that He was OK being killed over it, so he wasn’t a hypocrite. Because of the religion that I follow I have been to many churches of all shapes, and sizes, and ethnicities over the past 50 years. I have visited white American Christian churches, white American synagogues, ‘Black’ churches, ‘Spanish’ churches, ‘Asian’ church, Urban churches, Country churches, churches in Dominican Republic (where I found my favorite church, it was an open courtyard with some shade and some chairs) … but then I go back to white American Christian churches because that’s what I’m most used to, and then part of me wants to puke in my mouth, I know that sounds pretty offensive, it is.

I’m not really in any position to crack on my own religious institutions, but here is one simple point…If there is one starving person in your community that you haven’t reached out to help, one homeless person in your community, one parentless/orphaned child in your community that you haven’t reached out to and are continuing to help—but if your institution has some sort of ‘budget committee’ that allows some of your wealth to be spent on beautifying your building, or worse, a ‘flower’ committee that wishes to spruce-up your building with things that are dying, are going to die but look pretty, in my over simplified opinion I believe they are missing the point of the person that we claim to follow.

If you describe yourself as a ‘Christian’ how do you use your wealth to honor and display the simple humble guy that you claim to follow? I know that the guy that I follow spoke about the importance of helping the ‘least important people’… He didn’t tell his followers that they should try to construct a building, or multiple buildings, make them attractive as possible, put on the best theatrical performances as possible because the more people that walk through your doors the better for everyone, and he didn’t teach that a building full of distractions is better than teaching the simple foundations of being loving accepting compassionate and helping those in need. I tend to be short, direct, and hurtful, I’m trying to be less so. I think truth can be hurtful, and can be humorous as well, I think that truthfulness hurts people that aren’t being honest with themselves, but is amusing to people that are willing to get real with themselves.

So pick a random church in America that maybe falls into the previous paragraphs, there might even be one in walking distance. Why would church leadership that should know better continue doing superficial things with their resources (wealth) when they might even realize the unimportant distractions they really are? Maybe they don’t want to have an ‘uncomfortable talk’ with the well-intentioned Mrs. So-and-so who truly believes that a big batch of Easter-lilies is what your building requires to be normal and effective. Or to Mr. ego that is certain that a huge Superbowl party will be a great use of their wealth and time…

Why be lazy and do the dissatisfaction of stroking someone’s blind ego, you know ‘patronize’ them?

Who knows, but maybe because you are too lazy to be honest with them, and maybe that’s because your own ego is in the way of being honest to yourself. You are trying to control an outcome by enabling (lying to) people when they really need some help and honesty, so maybe step back and ask why you are controlled by fear, you are. Maybe quit being manipulative and try being honest and unlazy with yourself and the people under your teachings… Maybe take the time to explain to the good intentioned Mrs. So and so and try to help her understand that poor people are desperate and dying, and so are the lilies and that you believe that people are more important than flowers when it comes to spending ‘god’s money’. Or maybe tell the well-intentioned Mr. ego that maybe using the time period that the super bowl is on to use for serving under privileged kids might be more impactful to your community in the long-run, but who likes to have those conversations. Yes I oversimplified that, and picked some random white church scenarios, but there is another point.

It's easy for me to be critical about churches now because they are a part of my history and my own ego and now that I’m stepping back a little to understand where I’ve been ‘off’ in my life I’m starting to understand why I’ve been uncomfortable in many of the churches that I’ve visited… And it’s easy for me to be critical with the ‘leaders’ of these churches because I understand that no one in this world is perfect, and imperfect teachers instructing imperfect people can be a recipe for disaster. They can be recipes for disaster because when imperfect leaders stop being honest with themselves and give in to their own egos they become a danger to their ‘churches’, and really just another noisy distraction in this world.

It’s easy to offend people, I just did a whole bunch of that, just as It’s easy to recognize differences/oddities in people… strange looks, strange voice, big hair, no hair, pink hair, fat, short, tall, skinny, old, young, covered with tattoos, maybe even physically challenged, maybe even peculiar medical conditions.  It’s easy to rush to judgement, or to label someone that’s different from you, and even crush their fragile egos, it’s probably happened to you, it happens to most people at least once in their lives, it’s happened to me more times that I could remember, but people with solid egos (authentic genuine people) don’t let it destroy them.

If you ever catch yourself thinking, or worse, saying out loud, ‘dude, you’re clueless’.

You’re probably right… but so are you, you are shallow, lazy, and lying to yourself, especially if that’s where your criticism ends. This probably offends you, and it should, Unfollow me now lazy coward.

How about if you have to deal with someone directly, and you notice that they have ‘issues’, but you don’t know exactly what they are, maybe you cannot articulate (say it the right way), maybe that’s when it’s time to shut your trap, shut your mouth, close your pie-hole, and don’t-even criticize them. Maybe tell your own ego to be quiet and offer them some peace and understanding, wars have been fought over similar problems. You don’t know what that person knows and you’re probably missing out on an opportunity to learn something new, don’t let your ego get in the way of you getting yourself smarter.

If criticism ends with an insult and isn’t backed-up with rational reasoning, then weigh that criticism against ‘a grain of salt’ because it didn’t come from a true and reliable source, it was just meant to be hurtful, then again maybe there is a little bit of truth behind it.

And as for the know-it-all, they are in for a big heap of reality at some point in their lives and it might even be as ugly as what I had experienced during 2020, 10 months of ego crushing reality, and now I realize that for a ‘know it all’ I’ve been a pretty darn ignorant guy that’s been missing out on a lot of what life has to offer. -- christopher