In Doctor Who, there are telepathic humanoid creatures called the Ood-kind. They have tentacles on the front of their face, no vocal chords, and therefor communicate through telepathy. The Ood also have two brains, a forebrain in the head and a second hindbrain that was connected by an umbilical chord connected to their faces and held in their hands. The forebrain was responsible for thinking and storing the telepathic centers, while the hindbrain processed memories and emotions. If disconnected, it would lead to mental instabilities, including the common disease “red-eye”. When an Ood gets red-eye, and the symptoms included bright red eyes, rabid temperament, and anti-human sentiment.
If you’ve ever gotten into a political fight with me (or even worse-insulted a member of my family, which would trigger some REAL rabid behavior), you’ve probably experienced my version of the “red-eye”, and on some occasion its possible my eyes have probably turned red. Now, I’m not writing this to apologize for my beliefs. I will however apologize for the fury with which I sometimes espouse my beliefs in arguments or through other means. We all have our beliefs, some of them stronger than most, and we shouldn’t apologize for that, but it’s important that discussions about important topics remain respectful, educational, and with a clear message. I’m also not writing this for sympathy. Writing helps me reconcile feelings I just kind of look at and go, “WTF are you?”
If I’ve ever replied in strong opposition to something you’ve said and in a way that seemed hurtful to you, I apologize. Sometimes, if I’m passionate enough about the topic or if I felt attacked for my beliefs, I tend to react strongly. Almost as if I black out with rage. That mostly happens though, again, when I’ve felt personally attacked or I feel as if someone has attacked someone I love. Regular discussions don’t tend to faze me as much. Obviously the former reaction causes a bit of a problem and most likely tension between me and people that I care about. I don’t like the idea of political beliefs driving a wedge between me and someone I care about. Of course its easier to surround yourself with people of like mind, but easier is not always better, and you certainly cannot grow if you are never challenged. I agree that I tend to be stubbornly irascible and unwilling to backdown in a fight. That certainly doesn’t excuse rudeness, however. I don’t like to think of myself as an angry person, just passionate.
When, in a disagreement, I react strongly and it’s because I feel like I’ve been patronized or been made to feel stupid or ridiculous about what I said (and in my black-out rage moments I assure you, I do say stupid things), it is because I have never really felt particularly intelligent or smart. I feel like I’ve always had to prove myself to others, and in later years that hasn’t always been the case, and I’ve become more lax and laid back about silly things like that, and I have things now that I can be proud of. But it will take a while for me to teach myself to not always think those thoughts about myself or to not think that others think I’m stupid, ridiculous, childish, or whatever. When we create those pathways in our brain its much harder to create newer, more positive pathways than it is to keep forging the bad.
I don’t excuse rude behavior regardless of how I may or may not feel about myself, though. And I make a conscious effort to be mindful of the things I say and how I say them or how they might make others feel, because I know what it’s like to be on the other end of hurtful words. But I guess that’s what life is for-to always be learning things about yourself and other people, and always keeping in mind that others might be feeling the same pain that you are, or that your pain doesn’t give you a reason to lash out at others. I might learn after posting this that I made gramatical errors or that I didn’t quite say something the way that I wanted to, but that’s how I learn. We all learn things about ourselves in different ways, and I don’t want to wake up one day and realize I’ve become the kind of person to be an incendiary or inflammatory debater that can’t be stopped because my eyes are red or I’m just spitting out words in a black out rage.
I don’t want to be an Ood, is basically what I’m trying to say. So air hugs to everyone reading this, and sweet Doctor dreams (or companion dreams for you men out there) tonight. Here are some GIFs.