noble intention my foot
Posted September 16, 2013on:
“the gift of the maggi” ? I read that story the first time in 10th grade, I think. And I got it. I really got it got it. But there was something about it that rubbed me all the wrong way, something that prevented me from filing the moral of the story away into my wisdom cubby hole. Now I know. It’s the secret noble intention, the self effacing sacrifice that each character performs on behalf of the other, WITHOUT EVER ASKING THE PERSON INVOLVED. It’s just gift giving, I know, but you know what? If I were on the receiving end of this sort of gesture, I would be feeling guilt instead of pleasure. Guilt that I should be the reason why the other person give away their most cherished possession, just to please me. The guy sold his father’s watch – his connection to his family – to buy me a goddamn comb? WHAT. THE. FUCK.
That’s just me. I guess those two characters deserve each other, so maybe they would feel all sappy and have awesome action in bed on Christmas night. I think drama scripts would go for that. Where I often see this sort of secret noble self sacrifice play out in real life, things have almost always gone horribly wrong. Take the case of a parent who does things secretly with the best of intentions on behalf of a child, the result of which directly affects the child, even to the point where the child might grow to hate the parent, and then the parent takes all the hating’ like a champ, cuz, yunno, that’s what loving parents do. Some day the child will understand my heart, the parent thinks (or say to their confidante, after making the confidant swear into a lifetime of secrecy). I take serious issue with this sort of action because 1) it is done with out the other party’s consent, and 2) it forces the other party into a position where they has no say. Both of these actions are terribly disrespectful, and I wouldn’t imagine doing it to people I love. It’s not a coincidence that a 3 year old freaks out and throws major tantrum because she feels like she has no say in any aspect of her life. As soon as a human’s brain achieves a certain level of complexity, it immediately tries to assert autonomy. Even a 3 year old wants to have a say in picking her sock, what would make a parent thing that their 20 year old child wouldn’t care to make an input? You always see how it plays out in drama and movies, where the misunderstanding finally clears up (at the end, after the noble idiot dies or is in a coma), and the person on the receiving end just cry and cry and feel so remorseful because they have wronged their parent so badly. If I put myself in the position of the parent – I don’t ever want to make May feel horrible like that if I can ever help it.
There are situations in life that would call for noble sacrifice, I don’t deny it. But I have yet to encounter one in my life. Maybe I’m lucky, who knows. I just keep on running into stupid cases such as people saying oh I don’t want to tell you about my troubles because I thought you have enough problems of your own, so I have tried my best to take care of it (but I’m terribly sorry that I sucked at taking care of it, and now it’s blowing up full force into your face and will leave a lifelong consequences). Or parents who deprive themselves of everything in life so that they can save for their kids, even though their kids are now 40 years old. If my parents have raised me right, when I’m 40, I would want nothing more than for my parents to live comfortably and enjoy life to the max. If my parents think that I don’t know what I’m talking about, then they are basically saying that at 40, my judgment doesn’t worth a spit, and that I’m not even worthy of their respect.
This is just not about parents. It can be between friends, or lovers, or spouses. things like “I didn’t tell you these things because I wanted to save you from all the heartaches” or “I kept that info to myself because I wanted to protect you from blah blah blah…” It’s bullshit. You never know for sure how a person would react. What you deem painful or shameful or whatever-ful might just be your own opinion. The other person might have a different reaction. If you love them and respect them, then give them a say in the matter that involves them. Sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to keep secrets. And then you secret keepers delude themselves by thinking that they are traveling the harder route, possibly straight to the right hand of Jesus via martyrdom. bleh.