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An Act of Defiance

Posted on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Dave!I've never understood the concept that men have to be abusive assholes in order to be considered "masculine." Is that really what society wants of us? Exploding with anger and being physically violent at the drop of a hat?

I have tried most of my life to not be that guy.

And it all started after my brother and I took a trip to Thailand.

All the men I encountered were exceedingly gentle, soft-spoken, and kind. They saw no need to be hostile or domineering in every situation. After a couple days of reading the teachings of The Buddha from the book that was in the nightstand, I understood that their gentleness was likely a function of their religion (something like 95% of the country is Buddhist).

Before visiting Thailand and being exposed to Buddhism I was a bitter, angry, volitile person who would have a meltdown if a bird pooped on my car. After visiting Thailand and being exposed to Buddhism I had a different view of the world and my place in it. The bird that pooped on my car wasn't attacking me. This was nothing personal. There is no benefit to being angry at a bird. It was just being a bird and doing what birds do, independent of me or my feelings.

I never became a Buddhist, but the precepts and teachings of The Buddha made me an entirely different person, and showed me who I wanted to be. Everything just made sense. At last. So while I still get angry, I just let it go instead of letting it eat away at my soul. Sometimes by blogging about it. I'm so much happier this way.

But anyway... my journey ran through my head after I happened across this TikTok (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@jessandskyler Replying to @user3354426333524 ♬ original sound - Jess & Skyler

"My softness and my gentleness is an act of defiance."

That's a statement that's going to stick with me for the rest of my life.

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