Wrestling A Pig

I’ve been labeled naive and foolish by the pessimists of the world for claiming people are more good than bad and believing they would choose to do the right thing.  This philosophy and approach to life has led me to witness what is possible and powerful; and also caused me great grief.

I recently attended a sporting event with a new friend, where I was harassed by somebody he once dated.   He had warned me she might be there, but I never suspected she would sit near and glare at us the entire game.   She attempted to introduce herself and questioned the nature of our relationship in a way that took me aback.   She made claims that attacked his character and integrity and said things that were both unkind and untrue.

It was a sad night for several reasons, but mostly because I realized the dreamer in me had been buried by reality.  I don’t know this woman or the thought process that led her to believe she was justified to say unkind things;  and I don’t understand what would prompt her to behave as she did, but I believed she attended the event with the sole intention to verbally cause harm to him, me, or both.

I’ve prided myself on my life-coaching mantra to “seek understanding.” I thought that by doing so, I would seek and find good and that harm would miraculously disappear or be diminished.

But that night I didn’t understand; nor did I want to seek it.  Instead, I concluded this stranger to be a raging lunatic who had premeditated her offenses against us.  I have no idea if that is true or false, but it caused me to grapple with my beliefs about humanity.  When had I become so hard and how did it happen without my knowledge?

A pig farmer once told me that you don’t want to wrestle a pig because the pig always wins.  You may pin the pig, but to do so, you gotta get in their pen and end up with yuck all over ya.

Days later I wonder if this woman was simply surprised and reacting to the idea of seeing her ex with somebody new, or if she had been plotting and scheming about how she could lash out and create an uncomfortable scene.

I wanted to understand, but to do so would require a conversation with somebody I’m not convinced is rational.  I would have to get in the pen with the pig to understand.

But the pig is not her or her madness.  The pig I’m wrestling is the idea that to be a a good person and remain true to my philosophy, I must seek understanding and find good in this woman.  I don’t.

To want to see good and to see good is a distinction that must be made.  You can want to see good and get yuck all over ya; or you can see good by choosing to diminish the harm.  Life is full of both good and bad, dark and light.  It’s what keeps us balanced. But life doesn’t require us to get full of yuck to understand.  We can see the pig from outside the pen.

Yes, life is filled with hurt and harm. Yes, there are mean and dirty people who will walk all over you if you give them the chance. But there are good people, with good hearts, who love and honor others and fill the world with goodness, too.  Learn to discern between the two.

You don’t need to understand or wrestle a pig to know it’s a pig.

10 Responses

  1. If she had moved on from the relationship and accepted that it was over, she would not have been motivated to seek to wreak havoc. In my mind, I believe she thought she was really getting the last word in, and I bet she even went and bragged about confronting the evil jerk who scorned her to all her friends who probably nodded and agreed he deserved it. Not because he did deserve it, mind you, but because they related to her feelings of being dumped and wanting to exact painful revenge upon anybody associated with what she believes to be the cause for her horrible lot in life.
    It’s a sad psychological state, and I’ve encountered this destructive, juvenile mindset in countless lost souls, both male and female, in my life.

    “Instead, I concluded this stranger to be a raging lunatic who had premeditated her offenses against us.”

  2. Sammer's Dad

    Very Good story Sam, Thanks for sending it to me!
    If it looks like a pig, smells like a pig,acts like a pig,
    IT probably is a pig.

  3. Bobbie

    Sam, keep up the good work. If not for “blogs” I wonder where “regular” people would get the news!? Sorting the good from the bad in this complicated age is not as easy as it sounds!

  4. tricia mcmahon

    I am a true believer in trying to understand the other side. It would appear that this woman behaved as she did due to some history of which you may not be privy to. You took the right approach by not getting into the pen. Don’t give up on your optimistic approach to life and people. Somethings it truly is about understanding and in this case you were not aware of so much. My mantra: Concentrate on the positive!

  5. personally i like to get down in the yuk from time to time. perhaps its not a like as much as a want. hmmmm, that would fill a whole blog lol. obviously this woman needs a couple pints of ben and jerrys cake batter ice cream and also a good @$%* although lets dissect your response to her, well maybe we can save that for later, but if he gave you advanced warning he must have known something that you didnt. any rate, your blogs are kind of interesting and your very easy on the eyes.
    see ya around,

  6. Mardy :-)

    You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with but, every now and then, a little piglet manages to weesle themselves into my personal space!

  7. Becky

    If you get into the pen with the pig, you justify the pen and encourage the pig to expand it. If you keep your distance and composure (to do this you must recognize that you in no way deserve the mud), you take away one more opportunity for her (the pig) to even have a pen in the first place. If everyone declines to enter the pen, the pig has the best chance of realizing there’s life outside the mud, though she can only do this for herself. No one else can force her out if she wants to stay. And there’s almost no way she will ever get out if even a few people (perhaps if even just one person) enter the pen. I’ve been drawn in to a few pens in earlier days, now I’m looking for the flowers. Surprisingly enough, there are at least as many flowers as pig pens when that’s what we’re looking for.

  8. Samantha,
    Just read this story and it made me think of what I read from Wayne Dyer last night. He puts it like this: You do not need to fool yourself with unconditional love. If you do not love the personality of another, be open and honest about it, but you can still love the essence, the truth of everyone on this planet and beyond. See the unfolding in everyone, even if their behavior conflicts with what you know to be divine and holy. Know that their egos have gotten a stranglehold on them and twisted their divine essence right out of their behavior, but still send love to the essence that is behind that action.
    The more you are able to see past the personality and the individual behavior, the more you will be a beacon of light for the entire planet. It is through a change in consciousnness that our world is going to be transformed, and that new consciousness is one in which love is going to triumph over the passions of the ego. Send love put past the appearance with which you are in disagreement and it may shift right before your eyes.
    This is who you are!!!

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