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Thu, Aug. 6th, 2015, 02:33 pm
I have to keep up with this thing.

I know people read Facebook, but that is not the place to put things I care about. I should take some time to copypasta some stuff from Facebook over the past however long.

We pay the price within ourselves of the uncharitable behavior we show to others.

I spent the majority of my life essentially crippled as a listener. I could not hear others because I was not taught how to listen. I learned in college that I had a lifelong habit of listening for "competence" instead of "content". I was not just hearing, I was evaluating. That evaluation was only of the content of the message, but it was always immediately being tested, and if it went on long enough, it would reflect on the speaker.

The price I paid for that is in valuing competence as a primary trait. What I expected of others was to perform at a certain level at whatever they might be doing, to "deliver" or "know what they are talking about". The problem with this is that if a person who values this way ends up being the kind of person who isn't good at anything, they see no value in themselves.

I am learning how to live life knowing that I am not 'good' at anything I do. I used to be a heavy gamer, but I lost more games of Magic: The Gathering than I dare to remember--I lost the majority of them, despite having a categorical knowledge of the game, strategy, and rules. All the other games I played, WH40k, LOTR tabletop, Pokemon, etc, all huge strings of losses. I've never won anything by chance. I have not been very good at any job I've ever had, and if I was good at the work, I was terrible within the organization. I am not good at being a dad, knowing what to do with my kids when they simply won't comply or calm down. I am not good at being a husband and knowing what my wife needs and how I can do that. I am not good at evangelism, I don't usually get there with anyone I talk to. I am not good at writing, what I write is overbaked, too scrutinized, and lacks a grasp of controlling imagination gaps between the explicit details. I am not good at fishing, I simply can't find fish. I am not even good at conversations, I miss things, talk too much, misunderstand and misconvey anything. I don't even know how to dress myself.

I simply am not "above average" at anything. I would say I am below average on almost any tangible thing. Everyone doesn't like this idea, and resists it. "Oh Eamon, you are good at things. You're smart and articulate, blah blah blah." Being smart and articulate is not a skill or ability, it is like being tall or light skinned. Its like that scene in Elf when the elves tell Buddy he is good at changing the smoke alarm batteries.

The truth is, not everyone is good at anything. And being good at things is not all there is to life. It isn't even most of life. I can spend my life bewildered at how so many cashiers can't count change, how many lawyers are surprised by laws they should know, how many drivers lose control of their cars, and how many parents treat their kids like crap. Or I can accept that I am one of those people, and value of living your life doesn't come from out-competing or even qualifying. The guy who is a sub-par postman for 45 years still gets to retire after a long career in postal work, simply because he did it; not because he did it well.

I'm not good at my job, or any aspect of my life. I can't sell myself as the "best option" for anything because I am not the best option. I'm just available sometimes. And usually, that is enough.

Eamon