I recently found myself sitting by a river in Idaho with no agenda or technology - for a whole day! So I read Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie.
"I peed on the campfire last night, and it steamed my lady parts," I told my backpacking companions last night, in what I thought would be a helpful contribution to a conversation about relieving oneself in nature.
The response was one I'd already heard several times that weekend: "Eva! You're... something else."
I suppose it could be argued that I'm socially awkward -- though I definitely don't feel that way. And I'm pretty sure most people don't see me that way. Why? Just because you say and do awkward things... doesn't mean you have to be awkward or unpleasant to be around.
Sometimes, spaces look playful... but you can't actually play in them. image: reddit
Don't get me wrong. I love ball pits as much as the next guy. I spent pretty much every afternoon of my childhood at Chuck E. Cheese (and, unlike kids today, I actually got to run around and play by myself while the parents drank pitchers of beer). I'm all about play, and I'm stoked that so many Silicon Valley startups want ball pits.
But here's the thing: many designers and office managers think their job is complete once they've got that ball pit installed.
Creating a playful office space requires more than that.
"Hey! You want to try and see the meteor shower this weekend?"
Umm, no. But I'll try to see it. Or, maybe, I'll even try seeing it.
You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Which is why I'm taking the time to point out some of the reasons that words are not violence -- and that there is truth to the old rhyme, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
I was recently asked what I, as a feminist, thought of the web comic, "You should've asked." My answer is that there was a lot I liked, and a little I didn't. My favorite takeaway is that men aren't perfect and have a lot to learn -- but neither are women, and so do they!
In other words, people are flawed. We can all do better.
The "tolerant left" has done it again! I wrote a blog post they don't like (not because of my ideas, but because I'm white), and, unable to come up with a coherent and well-reasoned argument...
They've resorted to calling me ugly.
They weren't the first anonymous internet trolls to try to hurt my feelings, and I'm sure they won't be the last.
But here's the thing about their little poison pen comments:
On a scale of 1-10, it bothers me zero -- except insofar as it makes me feel sorry for them. Here's why.
See that girl with the laurel leaves in her hair? That's me, on graduation day, getting ready to walk across the stage and receive my Classical Diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy.
(Okay -- FINE. They're not laurel leaves. They're the kind of leaves that grow on the side of Langdell Hall, because no one told me you had to ORDER your crown before graduation. I mean... it's not like I had to order my diploma!)
My Classical Diploma means that I took four years of Latin and a year of ancient Greek. It means I know things. Like why it's so ridiculous that half my friends spell ridiculous with an -e.
Kids these days -- amirite?
No, but actually. For real. Kids these days are more sensitive and fragile than kids of the past. Even according to the president of an elite university that I spoke with recently, “Today’s college students are not like you.”
Unless the Next Words Out of Your Mouth Are Going to be, "Can I Help ___?" Do NOT Tell Me I "Look Tired"
When I wrote For the Love of God, STOP Asking People If They're Okay, I never really thought anyone would care. I love psycholinguistics (I just finished James Pennebaker's The Secret Life of Pronouns, and it was SOOO good!), and I'm all about empowerment... but people hardly seem riveted when I talk about either topic.
But somehow, STOP Asking People If They're Okay tends to be one of my most popular posts every month. Given this, I've got another one to add to the list:
STOP TELLING PEOPLE THEY LOOK TIRED.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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