I remember there was a character on the later seasons of “Buffy”-Andrew, I think? That used to go about in a tshirt that said “Love Me?” Around the same time, Robb Thomas of Matchbox-20 wore the same t-shirt in the video for their single “Unwell”. Those t-shirts, like “Jesus is My Homeboy” and “Vote For Pedro” had their moment. I can’t imagine anyone wearing such a baldly honest sentiment quite literally on their chest. It is sad but humbling to think that maybe those cries for love have become displays of anger, and that the people who seem the most hateful towards us are those who asked for our love in a way that didn’t make sense to us. We didn’t pick up on a tone of voice, a regional custom, a quirk of personality, or a look in their eyes meant only for us. This is how some grudges are born,maybe, those moments when we didn’t give enough love, when we didn’t see an olive branch or a cry for help. Naturally, people who express their hurt feelings with aggression have a little growing up to do. But what can I do to alleviate people’s pain and not cause any more than necessary? There is certainly enough cruelty in this world. I don’t want to add any, but I don’t feel that being quiet, being honest when I do speak, or being educated should hurt anyone.
I want to try to listen harder to those cries for love before they turn into enmity. But at the same time, I don’t want to fall into placating a narcissist that thrives on seeing me do contortions of personality and mood according to their harassment. I have failed and offended so many people just by being myself, and that hurts on many levels. However, all I can do now is look deeper and longer into people’s eyes, listen closer to them when they talk, give a kind word even to a comment I am a little confused or disinterested by, and at the end of the day know that if I have done those things then no matter what happens I have not failed anyone.