For today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:
How do we make peace with ourselves, knowing that, being the basically good people we are, we also have a side to us which we know isn’t the best — our “dark side”? Can we overcome these parts of our lives that we may not be proud of? Or do we simply accept them, learn to live with them, and move on?
Okay, I shall split this one into two.
As an adult, I don’t really think I have a dark side. What you see is what you get. Relationships… check. Work… okay, there might have been times when I could’ve been friendlier toward colleagues, but I never screwed anybody over. So I don’t really have any regrets of how I’ve treated other people. Maybe a bit more time for my mum? But really, a lot of the time she did talk nonsense! Her death is so long ago that nobody is uncomfortable saying that now. And, now having had children myself, that parent-child dynamic is very lop-sided.
As a child, however, I do have some regrets. I’m talking pre-pubescent, here. It was a semi-rough area, and kids often used violence to one another. Fisticuffs. I can’t say I was bullied, but there were certain kids you knew to keep away from. Most of the time you did, but there were a few times they caught up with you, and it wasn’t pleasant. To that extent, I was picked on a bit, but there was one kid where I was the picker-onner.
It all happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. If I met the kid I had once picked on, I would love to apologise, but I wouldn’t. Why?
Well, if I met any of the kids who used to pick on me, and they wanted to apologise, my response would be “fuck you”. If they were having sleepless nights because of the harm they had caused to other kids? Good.
Guilt is the payback for all those unresolved nasties we ever did as children, and I’m not prepared to smile sweetly and absolve anyone.
A few weeks ago, I alluded in a post to grown-ups saying that they should be forgiven for things they did or said when younger (teens and twenties) because they have now grown up. It’s happened to a few minor politicians here (one was really quite abhorrent pro-Nazi stuff), but didn’t it also happen to Trudeau over race? I have a lot of sympathy for that, because I remember what I was once. Although, as I say, for me it was pre-pubescent. But ultimately, although I can look back and think “what a twat”, in the end I think there are plenty worse people about.