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A friend told me that my previous post about @MrCPT was not necessary and I should not have given him as many words as I did. This made me think about many things. One of those is how to deal with the attention seekers of the world.

At the beginning of this year I tweeted about how we should stop feeding attention seekers with the very food that gives them life – attention. It seems simple, but if we don’t give them this sustenance, they would cease to exist. Yet we cannot help ourselves and always seem to lapse into this state of unconsciousness.

Let me tell you a story. Five years ago I stalked an ex. Ok, that’s a little dramatic of me. It was one night and hardly stalking, but you get my point. (Plus, who can afford to stalk someone? Phone bills, petrol, it’s all very expensive and takes too much commitment).

So I was at a friend’s birthday dinner at the Waterfront and was headed home. Ex worked in Cape Town CBD and I thought I would drive by. Even though we were on good terms, we weren’t talking regularly and I missed him. I thought that if I drove by I might be able to see him. Yes, I realise how creepy it sounds now. On the way there I was stuck in a road block where the cops were checking for drunk drivers. Once I got through that it was a simple fork between left turn, going home, and right turn, stalk the ex. Even though I had enough time, I still went right, even though it wasn’t the right thing to do. I sat in the car watching the door. I did not see him and I went home disappointed.

Also (and I swear I’ll get to my point soon) I recently had a chat assault. A friend, who I apparently insulted when I called him dramatic (he totally was, and it was in the tone of my usual joking self), went off on me and said some very mean things to me. I ended the conversation and the chat, as well as the friendship. I did not understand, having been through a few similar assaults, how between conception in the mind, typing the message and then ultimately hitting the “send” button, it could get that far. But it does, because we are the species who were dumb enough to develop thought (and then over-thought).

Having reciprocated to fights in the past, can well and truly say that I am over that. It takes a little thought to realise that not replying, and even though this is not the intention, tends to hit harder than any words you can throw at someone. A better way of phrasing it is to rather sit in silence with what they said, think about their intentions and where they could be coming from. Instead of begrudgingly letting it go, you instead let it slide right off your shoulders.

The problem with attention seekers is that they are so attuned to what they are saying (and their own unconsciousness’s and hurt feelings, and huge egos) that it incites something similar in us and we feel compelled to call them out on it. Miley Cyrus twerking, Donald Trump’s Mandela rant, and even our own Julius Malema – all examples of people who would not exist if we did not give them the light of day. Of course it’s impossible to not speak about something as sensational as the above-mentioned people and their antics, but it’s the way in which we do it that matters. With the post on @MrCPT, it was too offensive to not write about, because I believe that while it might have given him supporters and followers, it might also have spoken to the enlightened few who would now be aware of him, and others like him, and speak up about similar offensive people.

It is my hope that between thinking and speaking, we realise the power that we give to others with our words and actions.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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