A friend of mine on Facebook (which accounts for about 83% of my daily entertainment) shared this tweet a few days back. Now, this person and myself are quite amicable though we stand on polar ends of the religious spectrum. In saying this I mean that he is not religious, and I’m Catholic, which–next to being Muslim or an Orthodox Jew–is about as religious as they come.
I found this little tweet pretty humorous, to be honest. I try to take things in stride. I also try to be understanding in the regards that not everyone digs being a Christian, or a “religious” person in any shape or form. That’s cool. Whatever.
But I do have a comment on this and it begins with a very honest disclosure:
I am a shitty person.
There are times when I want to punch people in the face. Sometimes I want to punch everyone I meet on a particular day, in the face. Sometimes I want to get out of my car and tell the lady who just honked at me .003 seconds after the light turned green to go ___ herself. (That actually happened today)
I think bad things. All the time. I don’t say that out of some misplaced sense of piousness. And I don’t say this to gain pity or for my friends to say, “omgosh but you’re so nice!”
Yes, I am nice. On the outside.
I’ve always been a brash person. Ask my dad. I insulted his girlfriend when I was like 9 by telling her, “it’s okay, ___, you’ll get boobs like mine one day!” Or something to that effect. You’d think that it was just my youth that had no filter… no, that’s just me to my very atoms. Thanks, dad. Mom says I get that from you.
Anyways. You see, since I started on my journey to becoming Catholic through the RCIA program, I’ve really tried hard not to be a mean person; not to be a back-stabbing a-hole to my friends, to not say hurtful things, to not cuss out people who look at me sideways when I’m having a bad day. And this didn’t and doesn’t stem from my fear of Hell, but rather, from my love for Christ.
Sometimes mean things just pop into my head. Sometimes my anger flares up out of nowhere. These things can’t be helped. What I can help, however, is how I react to these emotions, to these thoughts. Just because something pops into my head, doesn’t mean I have to spit it out of my mouth. As an adult, I have a little more control over those precious micro-seconds between anger and action, or rather REaction.
I do get it, though. Maybe the author behind the tweet feels that people should be nice for kindness’s sake, not because you’ll gain something (or lose something) from it. Which I totally understand, and I agree.
But there are those days when it’s the hardest effing thing not to go Fight-Club-Brad-Pitt style on people. And on these days is when I really do need my love for Christ to carry me through the moment, to help me keep my mouth shut, or to keep my fists at my side–and more importantly, my fingers OFF the keyboard. Because I love Christ, and Christ tells me to love others sans qualifiers, I try to let that love flow through and on to others. Even when I don’t think they deserve it, and even when I think they better deserve my foot up their….
Honestly, at the end of the day, I would rather someone use their love of Christ, or their fear of Hell, to continue striving to be a good person–even if just on the outside–than for them to just be a jack-wagon. Because really, how many people out there keep themselves from murdering someone plainly out of fear of the legal ramifications?