Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Banana Stealers

Every now and then, I experience writer’s block.  When this happens, I usually find myself seeking out my best friend for inspiration.  “I don’t know what to write this week,” I will say, “What do you think I should focus on?”  Her response is always the same, “Write about The Bananas!” she will insist with excitement.

And because I am quite certain this friend would do anything for me, I will grant her simple request and write about The Bananas.  So, without further ado, I give you the adapted version of her favorite blog posting:

Not long ago, I had a conversation with a friend that introduced me to the term "banana stealers".

And just what, or who, rather, is a banana stealer, you ask?  Simply put, a banana stealer is a person who puts you down in order to pick themselves up.  A person who strives to place themselves above others at the expense of the people they are surrounded by.  My friend tried to describe the banana stealer’s quest for power and, ultimately, a false sense of self, by saying that a banana stealer will make every attempt to “steal your bananas” so he or she will always has more than everyone else, thus always having the perceived upper hand. 

It seems to me that most of us have known such a person at some time in our lives.  Someone that would rather steal our bananas, rather than earning their own.  Such people tend to be critical and competitive. They are frequently degrading, belittling, or condescending without reason, often passing arbitrary judgments based on misinformation. Quite simply, they find any possible way to steal your bananas so they can have "more".

After giving some thought to banana stealers, I realized that I have sympathy for such people.  As frustrating or hurtful as they may be, I realized that they are in a position that is much worse than the people they steal from. It seems to me that all that they are looking for is a way to feel good about themselves. And who can blame them for that? Don't we all want to feel good about ourselves? The problem with the banana stealers, though, is that as they try to feel better about themselves, they end up hurting others, and consequently, themselves.

In all reality, banana stealing is rather self-defeating.  It is harmful to relationships.  It is hurtful to the feelings of others.  It is superficial, fickle, and only temporarily fulfilling. Yet, it is perpetuated by some sort of satisfying gratification that many of us do not understand.  And because we do not understand such behavior, we often do not know how to respond to it, leaving us feeling hurt, frustrated, and even angry.  But rather than feeling this way, I encourage you to separate yourself from such people and refrain from taking their slights personally.  If you can, try to understand where they are coming from, and why they may act the way that they do.  Perhaps they may help you highlight the good that you have in your life.  Perhaps you may even be able to feel a bit of compassion for them, and be able to help them see their beauty in their own lives as well.

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