I’ve lived long enough to see many people blast into my life, and then leave.
They’re not the pillars — family, friends, wise individuals who leave behind a feeling of goodness to the room when they depart. Rather, these are the confident, aggressive “leaders,” the ones who capture a group or organization, plan church events, or grasp at micro-managing their co-workers lives.
One example should suffice.
Years ago, there was a woman in our little children’s play group who whooshed into the room like a wind. Around a quickly assembled flock of acolytes, she pronounced judgment on what TV shows to watch, the best and only way to potty train, rather harsh disciplinary measures to apply against recalcitrant children, and the necessity of buying cheap fried chicken at the grocery store on Madness Mondays. (A couple years later, when she changed her diet, she condemned Madness Mondays, along with anyone who bought cheap chicken that day. No longer was this a sensible, approved, or spiritual way to save money.)
We never got along, because early on, I didn’t agree with something she said. It only took once to be off her list.
And then, after years of determined rule . . . she left.
Gone, off to new vistas to promote the virtues of tofu, which colleges are the best for those now grown-up, formerly recalcitrant children, and the only qualified candidate for whom to vote.
The artwork, Riverside Muse, is a reminder and an encouragement to not give in to such people. The woman standing at the river is quiet, reflective, non-aggressive, thoughtful – a lot like many people. She has good things to say, ideas worth hearing, but she is not about to push her agenda on those around her.
Too often, people who are quiet, reflective, non-aggressive, and thoughtful allow themselves to be bowled over by those who promote, and then later condemn, buying cheap chick on Madness Monday. They mistake non-aggression for shyness, and pull away from expressing themselves, because they consider that they have nothing worth saying.
But they do. Oh, how they do.
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