I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense

The below quote did the rounds of the interwebs recently, accelerated somewhat by its erroneous attribution to Meryl Streep. Meryl didn’t come up with the rant (although perhaps she recited it once with an accent); author José Micard Teixeira did. No matter. It was brought to my attention and it fitted.

Image via Mochacafe.tumblr
Image via Mochacafe.tumblr

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

It’s a touch more strident than how I’d choose to phrase things. I like to allow far more grey between right and wrong.

But the principle is one I’ve found myself organically practicing in the past year or so. It’s not that it’s an effort; I simply can’t coexist with people who don’t nourish me. Nothing against them. We just don’t fit together right now.

It kind of happened when I turned 40. A lot of things became clear (mostly because I realised I’d reached a point where I’d arrived at myself) and things that don’t feel good suddenly felt very wrong. I describe it as scratchy – like wearing a homemade jumper made from itchy wool and too tight around the neckline. When I feel it, I have a visceral need to abort, step aside, and let the force pass me by without friction.

Mostly (although not always, admittedly) I have no need to retaliate or point out wrongs or to be right. I thought it was exhaustion, but I’ve begun to think it’s inevitable survival.

I have no (OK, little) desire to have conversations in my head discussing with myself the idiocy, arrogance or otherwise of the person in front of me. I just want to turn my cheek and seek out softer pullovers. I used to get riled by injustice and people who don’t recycle or who abuse situations or who abuse me. But now I do what I do with trolls…I watch the missile coming toward me and, instead of batting back, I let it flop flaccidly behind me. And smile at it.

The world, I feel is speeding up. The difference between world outlooks is getting starker, louder. The gravitational pulls are stronger. We are being forced to get out of the way and let the organic ways of the world lead us. The intolerable is finally not being tolerated. A good thing, no?

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