Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An Oldie, But a Goodie

My husband, Derek, and I recently had a conversation about a certain type of people. We call them "banana stealers".

"And just what, or who, rather, is a banana stealer?" you ask. Well, my loves, I shall tell you.

Simply put, a banana stealer is a person who knocks you down to put themselves up. You know the type.

Derek was trying to describe a certain someone's quest for power and, ultimately, a false sense of self, by saying that this person in question will steal your bananas so he always has more than everyone else. Derek said, "Its like this: he has 50 bananas and you have 50 bananas, and he wants more. So instead of going out and finding a way to acquire more bananas on his own, he just steals someone else's. He knocks ya down!"

Like I said, you know the type. We all have known at least one such unfortunate person in our lives that wants to steal your bananas instead of earning their own.

They critique without constructivism. They compare and compete. They belittle or degrade. They judge. They race with you, even if you aren't in the race. They steal your bananas so they can have "more".

Really, I have sympathy for the banana stealers. All that they are really 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 they make every attempt to feel better about themselves at the expense of others, and ultimately, themsevles.

Banana stealing really is a self-defeating behavior: it harms relationships. It harms the feelings of other people. It is superficial, fickle, and temporary. It really is an unfulfilling profession, but the behavior is maintained because it provides a short-lived feeling of satisfaction to the banana thieves.

"So how do we deal with banana thievery?" you ask. Well, my loves, I shall tell you what I do. I share my bananas willingly. I pay genuine compliments to the bananas of thieves, comrads, and strangers alike. I acknowledge one's effort to rightfully earn their own bananas. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I just don't take it personally.

I have lots and lots of bananas. And and so do you! Really, it is my belief that each one of us has a life that is ripe with bananas. Some of us just struggle to see them more clearly than others. So the next time that you come accross a banana stealer, don't be stingy. Show them compassion. Share the beauty of your life with them, and appreciate the beauty that you see in their's. Maybe even learn something from the way they experience your bananas and how they experience their's.

And finally, above all else, just don't take it personal.

Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope

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