I never got around to submitting my entry to the popularity contest.
Now, I don’t know when this turned from a procrastination issue (“Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow”, “look, it’s not due until fourth grade”) to an inner knowledge that I was going to have to accept the fact I never entered and thusly could never win.
But at some point I realized that me and popularity just weren’t really compatible. And I’m okay with that.
I’ve written a lot of poetry on the subject, but I don’t share it because I’m… how do you say it? Passionate? I’m passionate about the subject. Popularity has always been associated with stupidity and idiocy and hypocracy for me. I tend to write rather harsh words on the subject, directed at those to whom they apply (read: popular kids).
Take this post, for example. I did my best to restrain myself, by distancing myself so far from the prose that it turned into some hideous narrative letter about sarcasm and those who don’t understand it. I can feel it’s happening here, too, so I’m going to do my best not to draw away from my emotions.
Basically, here’s what I see in the popular crowd: A bunch of half-dressed morons worrying about their ‘cool’ factor in relation to other half-dressed morons, jerks to everyone except (and sometimes inclunding) fellow half-dressed morons, failing to realize that in twenty years none of this will matter. Meanwhile, people starve in Africa.
I know that’s harsh. And I know a few (read: a few) popular kids who defy this standard and are actually pretty cool people. But the rest of them are self-obsessed–wait for it– half-dressed morons.
Now here’s the problem. Agape. Loving everyone. Even your enemies.
Especially your enemies.
See, the Bible tells us that we should treat others how we would want to be treated, love those who hate us, turn the other cheek. It’s just so durned hard when your enemies are so… antagonistic. It seems some of the kids at my school are shallower than Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible.
To make a concious effort to reach out to them? Probably the hardest Bibical command I’ve ever had to do. I still struggle with it– still am struggling with it. As far as patience, humility, agape love goes? Fail. I can hardly sit in the same room with these half-dressed morons.
Of course, a plausible first step would be to stop referring to my enemies that I’m supposed to be loving as ‘half-dressed morons’. So we’ll just call them the PCI, for Popular Crowd Incorporated.
Now the problem with PCI is that, in response to turning-other-cheek and being kind, they mortify you. Their very natures are hurtful and gossipy. Their automated setting is ‘mean’. Their lazer guns are already set to ‘humiliate’.
I embrace the fact that I’m a nerd, a geek; a social outcast. But the one issue with this is that no PCI will take you seriously. You try to be friends with them? Laughter. You try to talk to them outside of a hey-you-do-the-worksheet-while-I-sit-on-my-butt-and-talk-to-my-friends setting? Failure. They have no sense of morality, it seems.
Someday I’d like to understand the PCI. Someday I’d like to relate to them on some human interaction level.
I may never envy them, or aspire to become my own PCI unit. I’ll never sit with them at lunch or laugh at their jokes or text them on the bus.
But goshdarnit I’m going to learn how to love them.