A friend of mine in New York (originally from
New Jersey) uses that phrase often, usually
preceding some bit of kindly advice or opinion.
I chuckle to myself every time I hear it.
To myself, so not to offend, as he always means well.
I've always loved regional idioms and accents. I think
they are a unique part of individuals and add to the
picture of the person. It makes me angry when other
people make fun of these characteristics.
Actually, it makes me cringe when someone makes
fun of others for almost any reason, like name,
appearance, accent, job...whatever. I believe it shows
a sad intolerance of others, often based on a serious
insecurity in the person making fun.
My very first memory is of my dad laughing at me in
front of company. I was only around two or three and
I don't remember what I did or said but, I remember
being embarrassed and humiliated. He tried to reconcile
by grabbing me in a hug (while still laughing) but I twisted
away and hid somewhere. Damage had been done.
Was I too sensitive as a child? I don't think so.
Children are always looking for approval.
Have I remained too sensitive as an adult? No doubt.
My dad labelled me as 'naive' when I was a teenager
because he said I trusted too much. Took people at face
value and risked being fooled, taken advantage of.
I've proved him correct on that count many times.
Enough times that I've become cynical of others and
often jump to conclusions about their ulterior motives
in their interactions with others.
We are born trusting because we are born helpless.
We depend on others to hold us up, secure and safe,
until we acquire the knowledge and strength needed
to become independent and self-reliant.
Sometimes, the ones in charge of our lives resent losing
control of our lives as we develop. They don't want to
accept that their 'right' is not the only 'right'.
By their controlling and over-protecting they are actually
setting us up for more mistakes because we continually
doubt ourselves. We become afraid to trust ourselves and
often spend much of our lives looking for others to approve
what we do and who we are. And, therefore, we become easily misled.
I spend a lot of time reading. Mostly biographies and
autobiographies. I mentioned this to Berry a while back and
admitted that I wasn't quite sure why I am so drawn to the
stories of other people's lives. Without hesitation, he said,
"Because you are not yet sure who you are."
I observed my 60th birthday earlier this month and I wonder
if I will ever complete my search for my self.
I also wonder if I'll like it if I find it.