Illustrating Absurdity

The other day, Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) wrote on his Facebook page about all the to-do with the Miss America contestant who gave a monologue on being a nurse, the subsequent apparent offense taken by a few on “The View” and the subsequent offense taken by fellow nurses and others that lead to multiple apologies and pulled sponsors.

You can read all about it here (If you want to see good writing, this is it):

https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/posts/1058465054163637:0

He concluded the entire episode is a mere reflection on how easily people are offended and feel the need to tell the world how righteous their offenses are. All in fewer than 140 characters and hashtags galore.

I (tried) to help illustrate his point by adding my own absurd comment (as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, “Illustrating absurdity by being absurd”):

I am offended by your phrase “140 Characters or less.” The correct word is “fewer.” I expected more from you, Mike. So disappointed. #stopbadgrammar :p

Most people got it — including Mike who graciously and with his usual and incomparable wit responded:

It shall be corrected forthwith. And in the future, I vow to make lesser mistakes!

(For which I responded “Ha! Well played.”)

Others, not so much:

Get a life people. Now we’re offended by grammar and typing mistakes. Crazy.

I’m sick of grammar police, please embarrass someone in private and not on a public forum.

You all made Mike’s point for him – pooping in your panties over minor stuff. Nobody’s perfect.

(I thought, but didn’t add: “Um. No. You did.”)

And the Coup de Grâce (at least in the responder’s mind, I’ll wager):

Well, I will offend the grammer police, by sa ying” Are fu*&Ing kidding me??” Look at the bigger picture, Ms. Grammer!!

I learned a bit about myself during this episode.

First, I felt an explosive dose of pride when the Mike Rowe responded to my comment, and by the amount of likes I got (yes, I watched them increase like a lotto ticket holder squealing every time one of her numbers is called out). I wanted to scream all over Facebook, “Look, look, a celebrity talked to me! Look how many likes I got! I’m so special!” The bane of my existence, pride.

I also learned that there are times my skin is so thin, a sideways glance is enough to send me into a tailspin of self-loathing. Other times my skin is so thick, I laugh at those who respond to my words not so kindly.

The latter was my response in this instance.

Granted, when strangers pounce on my words, I don’t care all that much. They are strangers, after all. Sometimes I will try to clarify if they misconstrued my comment. Other times I leave it alone, because the detractors are actually proving my point.

How can I not laugh?

My skin thins when someone I know attacks me or my words, and I think that’s quite normal. The opinions of friends and family should matter more. At the same time, I shouldn’t allow anyone’s opinion determine my self-worth, stranger or friend. Should I listen to criticism as well as compliment? Absolutely, because each can make me a better person. In the end, however, that shouldn’t determine how I feel about myself as a whole. One critique doesn’t make me a horrible, evil person worthy of the death penalty anymore than one compliment makes me perfect.

Each should be weighed honestly, rationally, and on their own merit. Neither should make me love myself more, or hate myself more. I can (and should) love myself regardless of my imperfections. And because I love myself, I should be honest about the good as well as the evil in me, and continue to work on doing more good and less evil. Sure, I will fail at times, but that doesn’t make me less lovable.

Don’t ask me how I got from bragging about Facebook comments to self-love, because I have no idea. Regardless, I hope you found it at least entertaining. If not, you will find me in my closet, rolled into a tight ball, and questioning God’s wisdom in creating me.

Not really.

Because Mike Rowe replied to me!

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