If I don’t live up to your expectations, whose problem is it?
I have been interested by conversations I have had here in Serbia, since I arrived, regarding the bombardment.
What I have heard repeatedly are expressions of betrayal. I am not talking about the betrayal of human rights and decency that I believe are at the root of all armed conflicts, and I certainly am not saying that people here don’t feel that keenly; the conversations I am referring to have been about the betrayal of who Serbians thought Americans were.
I cannot count the number of times that someone here has said to me that Americans were their heroes and now they hate them for not living up to their view of what a hero ought to be.
This transaction happens in our personal lives as well. Without our permission, or complicity, people lump us into groups and define us as they would like us to be, rather than who we are, individually; and then when we act as who we are and do not properly occupy the pedestal they have built for us, hurt and anger follow.
The relationships careen and crash without our slightest participation – we don’t even need to be there.
From what I have heard, the only image we were created in is God’s, not one another’s’, and that picture, from my perspective, refers to our connectivity to Universal truth and wisdom rather than our physicalities, religions, morals or ethics.
As individuals, we are as unique as snowflakes.
I am truly sorry if you meet me and expect that I will be a certain someone that makes you feel a certain something and then it turns out not to be so.
But then, projections are all about the projector, are they not?
Did I ask you to make me your hero?
It would be so wonderful if you could approach me with no personal or cultural presuppositions, allow me to show you the love I have to give and be who I am for you. What a joy, not to mention a relief, for both of us.
We might even pleasantly surprise one another.
After all, love is all that matters.
Diagram by David Shrigley