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27 December 2008 @ 09:00 am
It isn't "forever," just "for now."  
It is pointless to hate your neighbor. You don't have to live his life, in his house, or walk in his shoes, but you are going to have to live with one another. If one of you leaves, you'll eventually have a different neighbor who you may like or loathe, but it's still going to be another human being with flaws and faults. Leave one another alone, respect that people are different, and there is left no reason to hate. All your neighbor wants at heart is to be left alone to live as he chooses. You're stuck with him.

The next town over? They are your neighbors. Their house has a different postal code, but in the end, they want the same things that your neighbor wants, to be left alone to live as they choose. You're stuck with them, too.

The next state over? They are your neighbors. They fly a different piece of cloth from a pole than do you and those in your community, but that's about the only real difference. They want the same things that your neighbor and your next town over want, to be left alone to live as they choose. You're stuck with them, too.

The next country over? They are your neighbors. They fly two different pieces of cloth from their poles and they sing a different song before sporting events. They have laws that maybe you don't like, but not ones by which you have to abide. If you think you aren't stuck with them, well, that's why there are wars. Then again, wars have a nasty habit of spilling over and don't always settle things. Do you know what they really want, deep down? They want what your neighbor wants, to be left alone to live as they choose. You're stuck with them, too.

The next culture over? They are your neighbors. They seem very different, I know. They play different sports, they speak a language you don't understand, and they eat foods that you maybe don't even want to consider. This may come as a surprise, but they think your food is disgusting, they don't understand your language no matter how loudly you shout, and don't get why you find your sports so interesting, either. You hear them speak and hear babble? Translated, they are saying things like, "I hate my boss," "Man, that was a heck of a last-second play," "I'm hungry," and, "I should call my mother." Sound familiar? They want what your neighbor wants, to be left alone to live as they choose. You're stuck with them, too.

The next religion over? They are your neighbors. Maybe you think, "Man, they just don't get it. How can they be so wrong as to pray to that false god? Why don't they listen when I tell them the obvious truth?" They think the same thing about you, and in the end, it doesn't matter. You have proof that you're in the right? They do, too. You have certainty that your rituals and beliefs are handed down directly from the Divine? So do they. You think you know where we go when we die? No, you don't; no traveler has been to that far-off country and returned to tell the tale, not to you, and not to the religion next door who also think they know what "really" happens. You're both afraid of the unknown and are telling yourselves that there is nothing to fear to give yourselves an excuse to not cower under the sheets and beg Mommy to make the monsters leave you alone. You're both whistling in the dark; you've just chosen a different tune. You both want someone to tell you that everything will be okay; you're just asking a different person to tell you in a different way. In the end, the religion next door just wants to be left alone to believe whatever comforting thing they want, to live and die as they choose. You're stuck with them, too.

The next species over? They are your neighbors. Watch them for a while. They consume something that serves as "food," whether it would be food to you or not. They reproduce, one way or another. Maybe they enjoy it, maybe it's just something they do because they're supposed to, no different in the end than anyone you know. You don't speak their language, you don't know if they play games with one another in a way that would make any sense to you, and you have no idea if they're concerned about the future or their own personal ends. You know what it costs you to treat them like they matter the same as anyone else? Nothing. Do you know what it costs them if you don't? Everything. They don't understand you any better than you understand them, but in the end? They all seem to want what your neighbor wants, to be left alone to live as they choose. You're stuck with them, too.

After this life? No one knows. If there's anyone there, maybe they've learned something we have not yet had a chance to learn... or maybe this is our chance. Maybe they wish they had another chance, the opportunity to do it all over again differently. Maybe they're happy, maybe they're not. Maybe they wish they had what you have, the chance to be left alone to live as you choose. You'll find out for yourself, someday. There's no hurry, not for you and not for your neighbor.

It's life. You're stuck with it. So is your neighbor. You've got that much in common, so why not live and let live? It will end when it ends, for both of you. In the meantime? Just live.
 
 
Current Mood: patient
Current Music: Jonathan Coulton - I'm Your Moon
 
 
 
Skye: bluebonnetspagawne on December 27th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yep. Very nicely put. But consider this, life sure beats the alternative.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on December 27th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. We have no way of knowing until we take passage with the Boatman... but we all get a ticket. No reason to rush off.
Skye: bluebonnetspagawne on December 27th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I am in no rush for a ticket on Charon's boat.
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ace Lightning: fusoracelightning on December 27th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
alas, you're leaving out your neighbors (next door, next town, next state, next country) who want something that you have, and figure the best way to get it is to take it away from you by force. and the next religion over, whose beliefs include orders from their deity to either force you to live by their rules, or kill you.

not everyone wants to be left alone in order to live as they choose; some of them will not be comfortable until and unless every sentient being makes exactly the same choices as they do.


bronxelf_ag001 on December 27th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
You beat me to it. Thank you.
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 27th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 27th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 27th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 28th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 28th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 30th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 27th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on December 27th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Rationally, this makes no sense, and here's why:
1) You want everyone to live as you choose, for whatever reason, whether they like that or not.
2) You decide to force them to live as you choose.
3) One of two things happens: a) They resist your attempt successfully and now force you to live as THEY choose, or b) you succeed and now are living as THEY choose as you must devote all your time to making them behave a certain way, always remembering that you can only control action and never thought.
4) Eventually, you fade and die no matter what the outcome of #3.

Choice cannot be controlled. Action can only barely be controlled, and then only when you're directly commanding it by threat of death. It's pointless, as none of it staves off the Reaper and cannot be reliably proven to affect what comes when we take the ride over the Styx.

In the game of life, the only winning move is not to play.
(no subject) - acelightning on December 27th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 27th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 27th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 28th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 28th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 30th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Johnjohnpalmer on December 27th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Actually, most of them want the same kinds of things that the other neighbors want, too. Their method of wanting to get those things is fucked up, either due to

1) they, themselves, being fucked up (i.e., they can live their lives happily without all this conquest and shit), or

2) they are being fucked up, be it by the universe/random chance, or by someone else.
(no subject) - acelightning on December 28th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on December 28th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on December 30th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - johnpalmer on December 28th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Pete: Artist at workgreendalek on December 27th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you. *applauds*

Added to "favorites." Very well said.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on December 27th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you kindly.
The Bunnerflysylvidoptera on December 27th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
That was wonderful, sweetheart. Totally added to favorites.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on December 27th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you kindly.
thatwordgrrl on December 27th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
Yanno.

We are not fond of Casa de Redneck. They have about a jillion assorted RVs and boats that all must be parked in front of their house. They have a tendency to yell in order to talk to one another from one end of the house to the other. Grandma Redneck cranks up the volume on the TV WAYY too loud (and there was the incident when my house rocked to ...yes...Celine Dion). And PunkAssKid is a story until himself.

So no, we are not fond of them. By our standards they are too loud and quite rude.

But I don't *hate* them.

They are an annoyance. In, sad to say, a life of annoyances.

Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on December 27th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
To give credit where it is due, I do not begrudge any group who is the target of "ethnic cleansing" or similar genocidal actions their hatred towards those performing the genocidal act. The former Yugoslavia, Darfur, anyone ground beneath the jackboot of National Socialism, there are groups there who are entitled to their hate.

Short of that, though, damned near everything is just a temporary annoyance.
(no subject) - acelightning on December 30th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ayesha: debbie's mebrowngirl on December 27th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you for writing this. *reads and contemplates*
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on December 27th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I could get it out of my head, honestly, but thank you.