I could easily title this “what’s wrong with me” but work with me for a minute.
Before the Passover holiday began a video snippet of a stand-up comedy routine was circulating on social media about an Italian-American joining his Jewish girlfriend at her mother’s house for his first Passover dinner (seder). Most would agree, especially Jews familiar with the multi millennia old practise that it was priceless in every manner conceivable. The comedian’s shtick is his observances of people; what they say, what they do and how illogical many of their respective actions and utterances are. He is a kind of modern day George Carlin. He is Sebastian Maniscalco. I sought out more of his work and now find him outrageously entertaining. I discovered a sketch called, What’s wrong with people? “I got a problem with people … I was at Starbucks the other day and this lady in front of me ordered a scone, a muffin, I don’t know what the hell it was but they gave it to her in a brown bag, and then she was eating it, she was like fingering the muffin out of the bag [imagine the exaggerated visual hand motions from the bag to his mouth] … TAKE IT OUT OF THE BAG.”
Sebastian is a brilliantly funny comedian; he openly acknowledges his problem with people via his comedic genius. And of course it is an act, but sometimes I think many of us carry out an act every day of our lives. And then again, I not am sure if it is an act, or about living in denial. So what are we eating out of the bag?
I saw something the other day on social media that I reacted to. Someone asked for comments only on the facts presented and not to offer an opinion on those facts. I rather strongly suggested that his “facts” presented in the context in which they were indeed represented his opinion. Well – he was rather offended as were a couple others. They mistook my opposition to his premise as support of the opposite opinion that I stated more than once was not the case. “TAKE YOUR OPINION OUT OF THE BAG.”
But people can’t change until they are ready. They are vulnerable to something. They are afraid of thoughts and ideas antithetical to their own. But they – we – don’t see it. And just maybe, we are afraid to admit when we are wrong as that too exposes our vulnerability.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
One of my favourite scholars and public speakers – Brene Brown.
It will be liberating to learn, as Dr. Brown’s research supports, to accept and acknowledge our own vulnerabilities before we can improve our condition and begin to feel stronger about who we are. Our vulnerabilities present as our walls to those all around us. They subconsciously keep people out and prevent us from enjoying life to it’s fullest potential. Dr. Isaac Newton famously established in his third law of physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. How often does one’s opposition to something we have done or said shock us – even repulse us? When someone reacts negatively to our words or emotions, it is most often directly related to that opening salvo. Yet in defiance we are self-justifying, protective and ultimately resist looking within which is where the answer will be found. Some call it having baggage. What is in your BAGgage?
I think you’re right on vulnerability being the start of all growth. Instinctively we are defensive. Choosing to be vulnerable is what separates us from animals, and ultimately makes us stronger.
Opening oneself up to our vulnerable underbelly is not easy, but I believe is the most honest way forward towards inner peace. Thanks Kevin