I know you’ll disagree with me on this, but I wish I could make a change to this world. A big one. If I could, I would add more critical people, naysayers, hecklers, and jerks.
They’re the salt of life, and we don’t have enough of them.
Most of you have already quit reading by now, but I’m serious as thrombosis. We need negative, angry folks who have nothing better to do than complain. Because without them, there would be no us. And without us, there’d be only trees and turtles.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to invite these unhappy people to my barbecue, but I think they’re valuable.
“Why?” you inquire.
I thought you’d never ask.
My elderly neighbor, Richard — that’s not his real name, but it fits his general demeanor — he criticizes everything from people, to various forms of algae. The most positive thing I ever heard him say was, “Hey, dumbass, your #@&%ing filthy dog keeps $@&+ing in my yard!”
Well. My dog is most certainly not filthy.
Still, I wish I had a whole mountain of hateful Richards. Because without individuals like him, we’d be a bunch of humans liking only the folks who liked us back. And there’s nothing remarkable about that. Who wants to live in a society of happy little robots always singing, “Shall We Gather At The River?” I’m tired of that song.
Dreadful people are the only reason I have to battle the ugliness of my own ego. I need these people to keep criticizing me, to hurt my feelings, or else I might end up self-important, just like them.
My grandaddy said once, “Son, listen to your enemies, these folks will do something special to you. They’ll piss you off.”
A poet, my granddaddy.
“See,” he went on. “You and I are like blocks of raw wood. And it’s these hateful jokers that stab and shave at us like sharp knives. It hurts like the Dickens. But in the end, they help us become carved pieces of beauty.” He laughed. “There will always be mean people in the world. But we will always outnumber them. And don’t you forget that.”
I hope Richard doesn’t either.