Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I was a class clown.

This meant mischief, pranks, and being a big mouth. But it was always for the sake of fun. I wasn't a mean clown.

I will NEVER forget one day in a high school class when a kid named Ben, a nice but opinionated boy who played soccer, who I also never had conflict with nor too much interaction with other than casual friendliness - RAILED against me in the middle of the class. The teacher wasn't in the same part of the room when this happened so he didn't hear it.

I don't remember the specifics of what was said - but I remember that I could not figure out WHY he was saying it.
I know this:
I made a joke.
Ben tore me down in front of the room, going off on me for being a clown, yelling at me as though it was impossible to hurt my feelings - as though I didn't have any,
I remember the shock and surprise that anyone could possibly think that
I remember yelling back "how can you say that! how can you think I can't be insulted! how can you think I don't have feelings?! Stop!"

And I remember him being smug and suggesting that I don't have feelings - because I'm such a loudmouth, because I'm always making jokes.

I can't remember the words.
But I'll never forget learning that.

He thought I deserved to be taken down.

In my life, at times, I've encountered difficult people who have the perception that I can take everything that's thrown at me. I can't.

Putting yourself out there can be an invitation for others to hurt you - but it shouldn't be. We shouldn't rape people for wearing sexy clothes. We shouldn't yell at people for speaking their mind (let's exclude hate speech). We shouldn't suffocate celebrities with unrelenting paparazzi and gossip reporting.

Robin Williams' death is a reminder to all people that every living person should not ever be objectified. He's a human being beyond what you knew of him. We all just learned that our extroverted clown was sad, felt pain, and didn't want to live.

Every person you encounter has a private soul.

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