12/8/09

"When a dog barks at the sun, the sun doesn't stop shining."

Another nasty, ugly comment about Sacred Chow, another day when Boss Man started off on a sour note because he thought that he heard a ring of truth. Yet, there was none. It was just a random, unprovoked bit of bile aimed at the world. Some people have nothing better to do with their time than to spew filth, and such creatures should be assiduously ignored.

Again, when it's an honest bit of feedback, we welcome it with open arms. "The food wasn't what I'd expected, as it arrived cold." Fair enough. Get it up there faster, and hotter. "The food was a bit bland." Sure thing. That can be fixed. "The service was not up to par." OK. We can do something about that. "Your restaurant sucks, and everything in it is crap."

Uh.

Right then. My father had a saying for me when I'd come complain to him that either my siblings or classmates were troubling me over something or another. "When a dog barks at the sun, the sun doesn't stop shining." It had special meaning for me, as I'm named after the sun, but I think it applies to anyone.

There's going to be nasty people out there. It can't be helped. You can't change them, right? What you can change is your reaction to them. Answering back in kind simply gives them more ammunition. It's the same with a toxic relationship. We've all known those people that just bleed us dry, and every time you try to disentangle relations, they come back with more venom, and renew the back-and-forth.

What's the primary advice for such people from those whose wisdom I can only dream to come close to some day when I grow up? "Don't engage." It's that simple, yet that complicated. Every response you give to a hateful person simply feeds her or his miserable little soul. If you respond with even more malevolence, you acknowledge that their filth warrants a response. It doesn't. Just because someone speaks does not make that speech true. By giving them a reason to keep going, you give credence to their importance.

Don't. Engage.

The person is not important for your life, nor is that person worth the time that you spend in responding. Whatever fury they direct at you should be ignored, and redirected with more positive things out to the world. This isn't to say that you're wrong to feel hurt. That's OK. You talk to a friend, and let that friend know. You vent for a while, cry it out, and get it out of your system. But you sure as hell don't respond to the instigator. Let that disgrace to the human race wallow and stew in its own refuse. You need not touch it and become infected by it.
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