A Lesson From 2018
There is no “blood” and “water.” There is no “family” and “friends.” There are no acquaintances, no working relationships, no superiors or subordinates.
It’s much simpler than that.
There are people who who save us a seat at their table,
who speak to us with love and respect,
who validate what we’re feeling and listen to what we’re thinking,
who defend us in public but hold us accountable in private,
who remind us how much we’re capable of and champion our accomplishments without envy,
who come to our aid when we need them and speak up when they hear us attacked,
who accept us for who we are and where we’re at,
who do all of these things without condition — except that we do the same for them.
And there are people. Who effing. Don’t.
No other distinctions are needed. Let’s divide the world along those lines and invest our time and energy accordingly.
And anyone who claims that they should get a pass on those things because of genetics, or history, or past commitment, is merely looking to avoid the consequences of their bad behavior. They are demanding permission for their abuse. They will not get it.
And when they don’t get it they will try to provoke us to attack, in desperation for our attention, and so they can claim to have the higher ground. But we’re wiser than that. If they don’t like what we have to say, they can have our complete, eternal silence; we’ll block their numbers and mail back their letters unopened. Because here’s the beauty of silence:
When you give someone silence, they have to listen to themselves.
So here’s to a new year with the people who support us, and don’t ask for permission to stop, because why would they need it? Here’s to every word of encouragement, act of service, sincere apology, and saved seat. May we make them proud. May we be worthy of them. Clink those glasses. Bottoms up. This round’s on us.