Friday, 22 August 2008


From Gone with the Wind…
Scarlett: Cathleen, Who's that?
Cathleen Calvert: Who?
Scarlett: That man looking at us and smiling? The nasty dark one?
Cathleen Calvert: My dear don't you know? That’s Rhett Butler! He's from Charleston, he has the most terrible reputation!
Scarlett: He looks as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy

This morning when I got up I was reading blogs, as I do, and some were quite interesting because I had no idea what the writers were talking about other than they were talking about people they did not like. If I was smarter or knew the code I would have worked it out but for it was 4am…so, my question to you - someone says they hate you. What do you do? Do you take it to heart? Wonder what you have done to incur such hatred? Curl into a ball on the sofa? Demand answers from said ‘hater’? Or do you think so what? Out of the nine-thousand-nine hundred-and-ninety-nine problems in my life at this moment your opinion is nine-thousand-nine hundred-and-ninety-ninth on my list of things to worry about. What happens when that person then puts all over the internet that you suck? Do you defend yourself through litigation? Write vicious letters to the person to retract their comments or do you just raise an eyebrow and wonder when high school will ever end?

Don’t you just sometimes feel high school never ended? I was talking to another writer the other day about a ‘high school’ situation that had happened. Remember the cool girls that the boys all liked? Some of the ones I went to school with never lived past their 20’s because drugs were cool and ‘everyone is doing it.’ The ones that lived are looking a lot less than cool now because I believe that were never prepared for high school to end when they married the ‘cool’ boy. I know ‘ugly girls’ that have outshone everyone because they had a quiet dignified, determination that others could not see behind the second hand, torn school uniform, braces, ‘awful’ hair and the wrong shoes. I also know quiet, gentle beauties who were considered cold, when they were really just shy, who have gone on to do amazing things because they learnt from a young age that looks aren’t all that important and understanding is.

So what is my point? My own personal belief is words can only hurt you if you let them. High school, although a long time ago for some of us, is over, yet others never let it go be it through fear or jealousy or the need to be a part of something. And no, surprisingly, I am not the most loveable person on the planet. Anyone who shoots from the hip isn’t but that’s okay because I know the consequences of my actions every time I open my mouth. I can handle whatever is dished out. I also believe if you put yourself out there in any form you have to be prepared to take some knocks. I am always saying that to be a writer you have to be thick skinned. To me that’s rule number one. Just because you use words for a living doesn’t mean people cannot try to tear you down with their own words.

So, how thick skinned are you? Is someone’s hatred only important if they mean something to you? Do words either verbal or written upset you or do you move on? Would an internet attack scar you or if managed, with careful thought, bring people to you? Can reputation really damage a person? Or due to the pace of life will wounding words be the proverbial fish and chip wrapping tomorrow? Can you live without worrying about a rep and be true to yourself? And if one person attacks another due to their own inadequacy does any of this really matter? Ah, the stuff you can ponder early in the morning.

Rhett Butler: With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.

Sad news…Colin the whale is dead. See here for more He was separated from his mum. People fought hard to keep Colin alive. We all hoped he would live. A one stage he followed a boat thinking it was his mother. What is it about whales that makes people so passionate to save them? Maybe because we have stuffed up the environment so badly for so many years that too late we are realizing what treasures we have…poor Colin….actually just heard Colin was a Collette…still sucks either way.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Sandra Cox said...

Wouldn't you think, with all our knowledge and technology we could save a baby whale. That's sad.

Molly Daniels said...

Poor Colin.

As one of the outcasts in jr high, I had to develop the thick skin. High school was slightly better, and now as I'm having to defend my choice of vocabulary in my books, I'm able to let it roll off of me, somewhat. Sometimes I'll fret over it for a couple of days, but I get over with it.

Same goes for angry emails. If I know the slamming was justified, I'll take it to heart. But if it was their opinion vs my own, then I try not to dwell on it. And it's rough when it's from a trusted friend. But I've found out that time usually takes care of the bad feelings. Patience and non-retaliation are the cure, unless it's too deep on both sides. Just my humble perspective.

Anny Cook said...

Ah, sad about the little whale.

As for the other...never was a popular person. Never aspired to be. There are always people out there who are careless in the way they treat other people. I try not to let that carelessness influence how I treat people. That's pretty much all that we can do.

barbara huffert said...

Poor whale. So senseless.

I was always labelled a cold-hearted stuck-up bitch when really all it was is shyness. That's okay. My real friends know the difference. Sad when people's minds live in high-school forever. They miss so much of life.

Regina Carlysle said...

Funny thing about this. I'm always surprised by how hurt I get by cruel words. I look at myself as an adult, a fairly calm and centered person who can handle a crisis without breaking a sweat or a fingernail. A talent, I know. Still, it seems that cruel, hurtful words just bitch-slap me back into high school. My skin is thicker but not quite there yet apparently.

Popularity is highly overrated. Someone I know and love is one of those shy beauties who is accused of being cold. Sooo not true. I hate high school...then and now. I also find myself frustrated with grown women who persist in clinging to that high school mentallity. Do they really want to relive high school? Lordy!