Fear of the Sneer

Have you ever been sneered at for something?

Perhaps you wore something a little off-kilter to school one day and the disapproving looks on the other kid’s faces made you feel like a twat.

You might have made an innocent little mistake on a test and had your teacher ask you if you’re stupid or something.

Or maybe you showed an interest in some hobby your parents didn’t understand and so they made you feel like you were a bad kid to talk you off the ledge.

I don’t know what the defining sneer was for you. But I’m willing to bet that there is one, and that consciously or not, you have spent a great deal of energy your whole life since being on guard against more sneers.

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”

Confucius

And at first, especially when you’re young, it makes perfect sense that you would do anything you could to avoid being sneered at – it’s not exactly pleasant is it? Makes sense, that is, until you really think about what you’re doing.

Beccause when you stop yourself from doing something that you truly want to do, something that feels genuine and authentic, purely because you don’t want to be sneered at, you might buy yourself a moment of relief. But you’re living on borrowed time. All you are doing is surrendering. Letting them win. The sneerers.

And answer me this, if you would: What the fuck have they done to deserve that kind of power over your life?!

And what could be more satisfying than wiping the sneer of their stupid, “normal” faces?

At the end of the day, you have an important question to answer: What is more important to you – how you feel about what you do, or how people who would sneer feel about what you do?

I’m not saying it’s ever an easy choice, or that there won’t be times when choosing yourself appears temporarily to have backfired. But what do you care? There’s a special kind of satisfaction that comes to you when you honour yourself.

Stop seeing getting sneered at as a failure, and start seeing it as the victory that it is.

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be normal… they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness.”

Aldous Huxley “Brave New World”

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