Friday, June 25, 2010

Pettiness

I continue to be amazed at how petty I can be.

Oh, I'm better than I used to be of course - I don't hang on to things for hours on end like I used to do, grinding my teeth in frustration every time that person walks by or that situation is brought up again. I'm not as sharp with my tongue about things as I used to be, giving at least some semblance of thinking before I speak.

But none the less, pettiness continues to ooze out the ground of my soul. I find myself not just disagreeing, but attacking; not just unhappy, but combative; not just decisive, but reprimanding.

Why is this? Am I so insecure in my own skin that I need to have the "oneupsmanship"? Do I need vindication every time - if not in fact, then in word? Do I so need to be respected that I will engage in pettiness just to get sympathy or fit in?

When I write it like that, I am reminded of a character from C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce of an individual who has complained so much through life that they have literally turned into a grumble. By continuing to engage in pettiness, do I continue to become more petty until I am nothing but a petty, a small insignificant soul shrunken by my preoccupation only able to speak of the things that others do wrong?

I'm seen its opposite in pride: a bold pride, which tolerates no element of perceived slight or injustice or sense of being wrong. What it creates is a person who is passionate and bold of action but is (ironically) shrunken as a person: small, mean, often picking at the littlest of details or imagined slights.

Is life not grand enough - is God not majestic and glorious enough -am I not forgiven enough - that I have the need to focus on the smallest and least significant things?

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