Survival: On the Street and
For us All
The Shadow of Your Smile
there will be a near-panic need on the part of some members of the public (and you will be forced to pass many, many people now, every single day; no exceptions, no spending one holed up in your jammies watching old movies and rercharging your batteries) to make it your fault.
For people meeting or not meeting your eye at any given moment, the choice is between:
a) ignoring you altogether
b) projecting a false face toward you in passing (this is what has become of what back in the day used to be genuinely gracious social relations ~ goes these days by the euphemistic name of politeness)
c) practicing a little genuine non-PC compassion, or
d) provoking you to any behavior ~ no matter how slight or how justified ~ which they can use to prove to themselves (if you’re lucky), everyone in the vicinity (if you’re unlucky) and/or the police (if you’re very unlucky) that you are indeed the same vile, repulsive, parasitic, addicted, depraved, angry, out of control and harmful creature you’ve seen reflected back to you (at you) all day long.
There’s no way to win. But there is a way to survive: keep smiling.
Compassion is a Two-Way Street
Here’s a tip in advance: only the most deeply-felt, often-practised, brave, compassionate and genuine of smiles will endure under the circumstances described.
You need to lose any illusion that what is happening with you is their fault. That’s as ridiculous as its being your fault. Just like any and every other terrible deed, this harassment is being perpetrated by a soul which has been driven to it.
Words speak louder than words
You may argue with that last sentence, if you wish. You can say that it’s their fault, or your fault, or both.
Or you may agree with it, pointing out as well that as with all truths it is also completed and made whole by its perfect opposite, which boils down to meaning just about exactly the same thing ~ and isn’t it funny how words work?
Or you can go with the prevailing cultural flow and agree without meaning it.
The first reaction projects conflict, which to call it its true name is nothing more nor less than small-scale war.
Don’t project war on the street. The street is all about war. It will win. Hands down. On the ground.
The second projects peace. Such reactions will save your ass. Enough such reactions will save the world, and all our asses.
The final reaction projects nothing but falseness. As with the other two, falseness is the whole of what it will get you in return.
Another word for falseness, as well as for what it leads to, is betrayal.
The immediate and long-term consequences of betrayal on the street ~ both for the betrayed and the betrayer as well as often huge swaths of collaterally damaged people ~ are not those in which you will wish to involve yourself.
Just take my word for it.
Law of Attraction
For ourselves, and for everyone else.
There’s this too: your harasser will usually spiral out of control so quickly that even to them it becomes obvious that, while they might succeed in getting the self-satisfaction and reinforcement of seeing you arrested, it’s becoming likelier by the moment that they may very well join you on that downtown ride. That’s when they fall back on the ol’ avoidance…
… and go…
… (thank you) …
If they don’t
no one will intervene except, if you are indoors, to eject you as the undoubted cause of that poor good citizen’s outrage.
But if the boys in blue do show up, at least no two onlookers will be giving identical descriptions of any word or action betraying justifiable outrage on your part.
That is what you want.
That, for you, is as close as you will come to carrying the day, and it is a day you will be made to carry often.
You no longer have a right to justifiable outrage, under any circumstances whatsoever, bar none.
It’s one of the things you’d best remember, so the universe doesn’t pick up that two-by four again and show you what it’s like not to have the right to move hand nor foot while those four big “orderlies” are walking toward you…