It’s not spitting in the wind though. There’s you here and me here in this strange and fascinating online environment, having a conversation that would be impossible by any other means.
We’ve never met in person. We’ll probably never meet in person. Yet, we’ve corresponded for about 25 years now.
Our life paths are different, unique. I’m probably speaking from a perspective that’s been of relative safety. You’re probably speaking from a perspective that’s been harsher than my experience has gone.
My political thoughts are weak – it’s not what I’m made of. I ultimately don’t see hope to be found in this political leader or that.
Right now, I’m experimenting, trying out “what it feels like” to support a guy. Never did it before. Probably never will again. It’s exhausting as I’m not usually much for this stuff.
Honestly, I’m boring in person. My persona’s here, in writing. I’m a tongue-tied mess and from-birth hearing issues makes face-to-face a strain, especially in groups.
I did some travel to meet online friends long long ago. 1989, 1990 – even met one or two nearby folks when I was on the ORTHODOX list way back in the mid 90s.
Online is my fit. Makes up for communication and social handicaps so that I rarely have to think of them. In earlier days, I’d probably be writing letters to the editor in a newspaper. Further back in time, I’d find my way to a small monastery with structure, a few close individuals. Still might someday.
Never really understood this world. It’s fascinating and amazing. I look for what I believe is good and call out what I believe isn’t but mostly I try to appreciate whatever’s at hand that works. World keeps turning regardless of the day’s news cycles and I’m grateful.
This house has a lot of people in it. I think it’s 12? 15? Not sure. I own the house with my mother and the rest are my brother, his wife, their kids and grandkids. 16 yrs here, mortgage in my name. Barely hanging on, running a business that now either runs itself or doesn’t, brother and in-laws have their own world. I tried being a part of it for 10 of those years, but it’s a closed wagon circle with them, which is just as well.
So, I got my mom and my cat and my internet. Business is easy for me, not my thing but money’s a necessity. My 13-yr old nephew has been my project since his dad unexpectedly died when he was 5.5 yrs old and said, not knowing me well, “Wanna play?” and so I chose “yes”.
His schoolmates are basically anti-everything that isn’t male and southern white so I do my part to try to keep it in the realm of “just jokes” from my nephew so he doesn’t go full neo-Nazi like a few of his friends are turning Might be a lost cause, being in “white power” land, but so far, so good. He’s a good kid and he comes out to me for many hours a day daily, to tell me the latest funny school happenings or for my help at keeping him from homework while helping too.
So, I’m blessed.
I like to have a least-invasive state and corporate surroundings. My nephew’s missing a bit of empathy with anybody who is different but most of that is from friend and his family’s influence, so I do what I can to bring him to reason.
He self-diagnosed himself with Asperger’s two years ago in 6th grade and asked me a lot of questions. I couldn’t find any reason to say he’s not. His self-diagnosis was spot on.
I’m probably much the same which is why I understand him. I actually score low in the empathy scale – just under the line in “lacks empathy”. So, I consciously work at it and I can get there. I have heart but logic kicks in first every time and I have to remind myself to care and so I do.
https://psychology-tools.com/empathy-quotient Here it is. I think I scored a 29, when empathy starts at 30. Didn’t surprise me and it explained lots.
I look at a world with hugs and caring and I can ALMOST taste it but not quite. It’s like missing a sense but never having had it, I don’t quite know what it is. But I can reason my way to an approximation and so I work with what I got.
I used to do a lot of video chatting about 5 yrs ago but one day, I just stopped. it was addictive and I cut myself off, finding myself getting too wrapped up in other people’s lives while neglecting my own.
If I’m in a verbal disagreement, I start finding creative ways to be in agreement. Diplomacy is my center-point. Peace leads to talking about slice-of-life and non-threatening hobbies and sharing ideas.
Online? I can debate anyone about anything but in person, I don’t last 2 minutes before either finding the nearest exit or finding the right words to say that will move the conversation space into a peaceful state – and I can work at doing my part to make it a peaceful space for hours if I must, but it’s draining. Still, it’s my need.
I’m 29, you’re a 67. I talked to a guy that scored a 4. Total sociopath, at least in words, knows he’s like that, doesn’t love it or hate it, just how he is. Couldn’t do more than a few minutes writing back and forth to him in comments as he was “too much” and yet, as I’m also in the “no empathy” side – right at the line looking longingly into your side of things – i know with the wrong influences I could find myself down at his low level.
So, politically, I probably overcompensate. Evil’s so easy to slide into. It’s not immorality but amorality. It allows me to deal with bad situations such as medically necessary situations where I have to act, because I don’t share the pain. I act like I do – that’s the right way to respond – a “Oooh, that must have hurt” or various ways of saying “It’ll be ok” while fixing the problem as best I can. But I don’t actually “feel it”.
I say “It scares me to know I could be a con man if I let myself” but it actually doesn’t scare me. I rationally know how bad power in unempathetic hands can be and so I steer clear of situations where I’d have to con someone, say, for a living (sales) etc.
I make sure I’m honest. I understand the emotions of being conned: It happened to me several times when young but I learned their ways quickly so as to recognize and avoid them – avoiding dealing with them and avoiding becoming one.
So, I get mad at cons in politics and business because I _KNOW_ they can do better, even though I know they lack empathy because _I_ lack it and yet nobody would ever know or believe me if I told them.
In that sense, my whole constructed persona is a big con. Perhaps I’m 100% political, always looking for the right words to say or the right actions to take, to guide whole situations to a conclusion that I want, which is usually peaceful, although not always.
I recognize “good cons”, ones who still lack heart but rationally know what’s a good direction to go. I say they have genuine heart but how do I know what that is? I recognize “bad cons”, looking to inflate their financial portfolios. None do I trust completely — trust is in levels of dishonesty. I don’t expect honesty.
So, such is the stuff I don’t normally talk about, even with myself.
I rush to the aid of the hurt if nobody else does because I’d want that reciprocated if I was in that situation. I look for the best in people because I would like the same of me and I work hard to be at my best. I don’t want to know what me at my worst would be. I suspect I wouldn’t recognize myself and I don’t want to know what that’s like.