Baaaaaad Behavior… and Reconciliation…

IN case you were wondering what THE quote of the week is, as a public service for your convenience, I have hereby determined, hands down, it is this:

“How do you reconcile your love for someone
with the revelation
that they have behaved badly?”

It was spoken by a morning talk show personality,  in one of those rare, unscripted moments of humanity on the Television.   Visibly distraught, she shared her “this just in” reaction to news she had  received only moments before, of yet another unveiling of more improper conduct by yet another public figure.


Now, maybe you’re curious who she’s talking about, or maybe you already know, or maybe you don’t want to know, or even care at this point.  Frankly, it’s getting hard to keep up with the daily roll call of debauchery:  “oh no, who is it this time?”

It’s not that the individuals involved don’t matter, of course.  But at this point, the bigger story, at least the way I see it with through my Misfit Colored Glasses, isn’t so much about WHO, but WHAT?  As in, WHAT THE HECK IS going on here???

Ok, so here’s what we know.  Certain bad behavior is coming to light now.  Bad behavior that has been heretofore, shall we say, for whatever reason, unreported. Suppressed, if you will.  But now the gates of suppression have been lifted, all bets are off, and it’s open season… for this particular bad behavior.

Now back to the Quote of the Week.

You could see the wind was kind of knocked out of her sails.  And her remark, honestly, kind of took my breath away, too.

“How do you reconcile your love for someone
with the revelation
that they have behaved badly?”

This right here, friend, may be the most important question to emerge from this whole messy mess we are witnessing before our very eyes.

Finding out that someone you trusted, respected, maybe had great admiration, even love for… is not the person of impeccable integrity you thought (or hoped) they were?  This is hard stuff.  What do you do with this information?

And while the specific infraction she is referring to may not apply to everyone, the core of her statement certainly does.

How DO we reconcile our need to hold each other accountable
with the very uncomfortable reality that sooner or later,
that accountability also includes each one of us?

Because while you and I may or may not be guilty of this particular brand of bad behavior that’s all the rage right now… there’s a WHOLE LOT of  other bad behavior out there in Behavior Land that’s been slipping under the radar for a long, long time.  And I honestly wonder if we’re really that naive to let this fact slip by us in this important hour.

I hope you are not misunderstanding me.  I hope you are not reading these words and somehow inferring from them that I am even hinting that bad behavior should not be called out as such, or that the fact that everybody does in fact seem to be doing it somehow cancels out its harmful effects. Because I am not saying that.  Not even close.
We need to look out for each other, for the sake of the victims… AND the perpetrators of  the bad behavior.

So let’s talk about bad behavior for a minute.

There’s a reason we recognize bad behavior.  A reason we don’t often acknowledge, because it sounds, frankly, judgmental. And we don’t want to go there. But the very concept of BAD behavior in itself implies GOOD behavior.  And here’s where it gets a little tricky.  Bad behavior?  Oh yeah, sure we can can tell you what that is.  But what exactly IS good behavior?  And who gets to define it?  And what is it based on?

This is where all the Tweeters and Bloggers like myself come out of the woodwork and wax philosophical with all our unsolicited (but nonetheless, we are convinced, very necessary) opinions.  But not me.  I’m not going to answer that question for you today.
I just want to go back to THE question.  The Quote of the Week question.  Cause I think no matter what the answer to the good/bad question is, we still need to wrestle with this one a bit.

“How do you reconcile your love for someone
with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”

Maybe the key is in the word reconcile?  Funny, even the most irreligious of us love the idea of reconciling.  In fact, we long for reconciliation… for restoration… don’t we?  And at the same time, we can’t escape that the whole idea of reconciling means something needs to be reconciled.  Something is wrong.  With the world.  With THEM. The WRONGDOERS.  Of course.  Not me.  I mean, sure, I have my little “quirks”, but I’m not like THEM.  Funny, aren’t we?  The way we give passive acknowledgement to our flaws, but at the same time,  assuage ourselves by concocting this weird ranking system of who is more flawed than we are.

So how DO we reconcile this?  Can we?  Can we love people who behave badly?  Oh, friend, I hope so. Or we’re all in trouble.  Today it’s “him”.  It’s “them”.  But tomorrow it could be you.  It could be me.  And sooner or later, it will be.  I have a feeling the pointing fingers aren’t going to get tired any time soon… which is kind of ironic when you think about it, and the subject for a whole ‘nother blog post, so stay tuned for that….

Reconciliation, depending on how secular/sacred you want to go, either means balancing, or atonement. Either way, it requires honest scales.  As in weighing things honestly, and not skewed one way or the other.  I would submit to you today, my Misfit Friend, that the answer to this important question lays in getting honest with ourselves.  We all need Truth.  And we all need Mercy.

We just need to find a way to reconcile the two.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Let’s wrestle with this stuff together. 


One thought on “Baaaaaad Behavior… and Reconciliation…

  1. Wonderfully stated and sensitively focused; you Isle of Misfit. Let us not stand too tall, lest we fall… or rather, let us not claim the higher ground from which we are all fallen (or are to fall).

    Liked by 1 person

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