on pretending to have problems
Have you ever heard about someone having a problem? How about this: have you ever noticed that some people seem to always have some kind of problem and if you get two of these problematic people together, then they can get in to a competition to see which one can name more problems than the other?
You probably have never been one of those people who have always have some kind of problem, but you probably know somebody who may seem to you to make it a priority to have a lot of problems and to tell everyone about them. Well, I have been one of those people who had an enormous amount of very serious problems.
In fact, one of the worst problems that I have had was having an enormous number of people around me who constantly pretend to have problems. If you had asked me, I would have said that I never pretended to have any problems. Only other people did that. My problems, according to me, were totally real, never pretend.
For instance, not only was I forced to be surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people who were apparently trying to compete with me by having worse problems than I did, but I also had some real practical issues in my everyday life. I suddenly experienced the paralysis of my right leg and lost the ability to walk when I was 36.
So, if you had asked me, I would have told you that I had a very serious problem. However, I would have told you that the very serious problem that I had was a suddenly decreased capacity to move my right leg. That was actually not the problem.
What was the real problem? The problem was that I pretended that life had victimized me. I pretended that I deserved better. I pretended that my problem was special. I pretended that my problem was different.
In particular, I pretended that my problem was in my leg. However, there was no problem in my leg. My leg still adhered to all of the patterns identified in biochemistry and neurology and the physics of electromagnetism. The molecules and the cells and the tissues were all operating according to the same mechanisms that they always do- same for me, same for anyone else, same at any hour or season, same at any location.
The patterns in my leg were unusual, at least to me, but they were not unique. They were just patterns.
So, if there was no problem in my leg, then where was it? Was the problem in my head? Well, if I was pretending to have a problem, then it wasn’t really even in my head, right?
How about in my mouth? Let me put it to you this way: how about in my words? How about in my way of relating to the actual physiological capacity of my leg? How about my way of speaking about my life and about life?
I had one functioning leg and one other leg. Doesn’t that sound like a problem? Well, in fact, there had been another time earlier in my life when the bone in the thigh of one my legs fractured and I got a cast and crutches and did not walk on it.
I was about 6 years old and I do not recall really having any problem with having a broken leg. I moved more slowly than I had. I got more help from other people. I also had the expectation that I would recover, but what if I did not expect to recover?
Being able to walk or not simply was not a problem for me at age 6 years. Being able to walk or not was also not a problem for me at age 6 months. When I was 6 months old, I simply did not have any problems.
I couldn’t walk when I was 6 months old, but I did not make the extent of my capacity to walk in to a problem. I couldn’t walk when I was 6 years old, but I did not make the extent of my capacity to walk in to a problem. I couldn’t walk when I was 36 years old, but suddenly the extent of my capacity to walk was a huge problem.
What happened? I changed the way that I was relating to the extent of my capacity to walk. What kind of relating? Relating to it in language. Relating to it with words. Relating to it with interpretations and meanings and complaints- lots and lots of complaints.
Now I may not have said all of those complaints out loud, perhaps because there was only so much time in a day. In fact, I may not have even said a single complaint out loud, but pretending not to have any complaints does not change the basic, fundamental, definitive presence of relating to life as something to complain about. I could complain about anything. Maybe one day I complained about walking or maybe I pretended that I was not relating to my mobility as problem and instead identified the major complaints of my life as things quite remote from me and the circumstances of my physiological functioning.
Maybe I pretended to have problems with some particular group of people- you know the ones-, or with the weather, or with some historical pattern- because you know I just can’t believe that people would have ever done that- or with how much complaining those other people had been doing. They were hogging the spotlight. They were competing with me for the attention of everyone else and it was a problem for me because I could not keep up with their complaining. They were better at complaining than I was, or at least that is what I pretended, and it was obviously not fair for those people to be so much better at complaining than I was.
It was unjust. I should have received more sympathy and pity and charity.
After all, I had done everything right: everything! First, I made it a point to learn how people should be. Then, I made it a point to pretend to be that way that people should be. Next, I got very annoyed that other people were not doing what they should do which was to appreciate me for how well I had been pretending to be the way that people should be.
Now, you might to yourself that the pattern that I was just describing sounds rather ironic, even arrogant, even pretentious, even proud or vain. While that is very observant of you to notice and very generous of you to share your opinion, in the nature if I want to know your opinion, I will ask. Is that clear?
You know that reminds me of a few more problems that I have. Naturally, I have a problem with people who share their unsolicited opinions. That is very arrogant of them. Further I have a problem with people who do not ask for my opinion with more respect, more interest, more commitment, more devotion.
Why do all these people have a preference for their own opinions over mine? I don’t have that problem. I value my opinions over other people’s opinions for the very simple reason that I know that my opinions are the very best. Once I made up my own opinions, then I really wasn’t much interested in anyone else’s. That makes sense, right?
So, what’s the deal with all of these other people who do not recognize the inherent superiority of my opinions? They seem to have very high opinions of their own opinions, and you can see the problem with that, right? They are hogging the spotlight with their opinions, their own complaints, and their own problems. Obviously, that just does not work for me.
Their self-centered, selfish ego is a major problem and it needs to be fixed. As you all know, the first step in fixing a problem of this sort is to find find someone to blame for being the source of this problem and then complaining to them about how they should have already fixed this very serious problem that I have been pretending to have with reality.
So there I was at age 36, hobbling around using a walker, pretending to have a fundamental problem with life in regard to the way life should be and the totally selfish arrogance of life for being other than, in my opinion, it should already be. Now you may have heard about the idea of someone going around looking for complaints. that as not me. I was not going around looking for complaints. I was going around making them up. Could you hear the difference?
Now, I was 36 and I was not walking, but I was talking. I was talking about a lot of opinions, and a lot of complaints and a lot of problems. I could have been pretending to have a problem with some government policy. I could have pretending to have a problem with some cultural trend. I could have been pretending to have a problem with biochemistry.
However, I noticed that people did not give me any sympathy for having a problem with biochemistry. They did not give me any sympathy for having a problem with electricity or gravity or technology. So, what does a fellow in that situation do? I didn’t have any problems with things that did not get me sympathy. I went right for the heart of the matter. I didn’t waste time with the small stuff.
I focused my complaints on other people’s absolutely ridiculous preference for their own opinions. How can these people live with themselves? They are severely underprivileged in regard to their lack of awareness that my opinions are the very best.
Have you wondered why there are not more taxes to support government subsidies to promote a widespread public awareness of my opinions and how they are the very best? I mean, when I go around to talk to people, it’s like they don’t even know how much they are missing out by not having my opinions.
I ask them point blank- couldn’t be direct more than this- i ask if they are interested in my opinions. The vast majority of people that I ask about their interest in my opinions indicate to me that they are not already very interested in my opinions. I know… it’s very sad. They just don’t know any better.
So naturally, out of compassion for them, I ask them exactly how interested in my opinions they would like to be in the future. Now, some of those arrogant, opinionated competitors for my spotlight have the audacity to tell me that they are not at all interested in my opinions and have no plans whatsoever to get interested in my opinions.
Can you see the problem here, people? This is a very serious problem.
Hoe can people so ungrateful? I’m over here busting my ass to pretend that my problems are the very best in the world- or my opinions- whatever, my opinions about what is a problem and what isn’t- same thing, right? I’m doing my best. I’m doing everything right. Why is life not cooperating?
Do you see the problem here? Life is not cooperating with me! Life is just not keeping it’s side of the bargain.
Which bargain is that- you might ask. The bargain. You should know by now that there can be only one. It’s the bargain that I pretend to have with life.
That bargain is the basis for all of my pretenses which include all of my opinions. That bargain is the foundation for the very most important kind of opinion that I have, which is my problems.
All of my problems are just opinions. All of my opinions are just pretenses.
I pretend that my opinions are the very best, especially my opinions about my problems, such as, that my problems are the very worst, which is of course the very best kind of problem to have. I mean why would I bother to go around making up problems if they weren’t serious and insurmountable and unresolvable problems.
Do you know the word “Irreconcilable?” That is a big word right there. If I am going to the trouble of making up a problem, I might as well make one up that is totally irreconcilable. That’s like an incurable problem. That’s permanent. That’s unavoidable. That’s eternal. That’s more powerful than anything or anyone.
Pretending to have an irreconcilable problem is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Now some of y’all may think I’m just kidding about this part. You may think I’m just pretending. Let’s all bow our heads and read from the book of James:
“Behold, we put a bridle in the mouths of horses, so that they will submit to us and we turn their whole bodies. 4Also, mighty ships, which are steered by the wind and a hard small piece of wood, are driven to wherever the will of the helmsman determines. 5In this way, also, the tongue is a small member and has dominion; even a small fire kindles a great forest. 6And the boastful tongue is a fire and a world of sin; it is like a jungle [in other words, it can cause a lot of problems]. And that tongue by itself, while it is among our members, defiles our whole body [or congregation] and sets on fire the successions of generations, which roll on like wheels; it also burns with fire” like as in the fires of the rage of hell.” James 3:3-6
So, let me repeat the same idea of the Bible in my own words, considering that my opinions are the best and by now you should very interested in them. First, I pretend that my opinion is the best, and then I make a bunch of problems out of life for not conforming to my opinions, not respecting them. Then, I recognize that life is obviously trying to embarrass me and I am forced by life to take vengeance on it’s ridiculous lack of respect for my opinions, which, in case I did not mention this already, are the very best opinions of all. I resent life, I hold life in contempt, I worry about life and how to make it conform with my opinions of how it should be, I blame life for being the wrong way, even though I also pretend to be humble and merciful and charitable toward life by holding it in contempt but yet not actually voicing my complaints, or at least not all of them. Again, I only have so much time in the day.
On that note, I notice that I am way behind schedule. I have some serious complaining to do about a bunch of problems that I do not actually have but that I do pretend to have. So, if you don’t mind, would you please stop delaying me and step out of my spotlight before this gets ugly?