Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fool Me, Fool Me

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I never really liked that phrase. That's a phrase that essentially says "trust no one." "Give no one a second chance." Sure, it's a slippery slope argument, but only leaving yourself to blame for being too trusting just leads you to be down on yourself, when you were being kind because - hey! That's the kind of person you are.

I'm the king of being too trusting. I always assume the best of someone. And yeah, I've been hurt six ways to Sunday. And what have I taken from it? I've taken that sometimes, I'm a shitty judge of character. But is that really a flaw? Is trusting too many people really that bad of a thing? I've also heard the saying that when you refuse to trust people, it gives them a reason not to trust you.

I've been told I'm too giving. I've been told I'm too concerned with other people's emotions and when someone's upset, I often bring that burden onto myself.

Because how dare I feel responsible when someone's upset. How dare I want them to feel better. How dare I want people to feel strong and lovable. How dare I.
Okay, yeah, maybe it's a burden that can get a little heavy for me. Maybe it gets me a lil' too concerned with my public image. Maybe I care too much.
But I'm kinda proud of my neverending capacity to care.

So is it my fault when someone pulls the wool over my eyes twice? Is it my fault that I want to believe in the best in people? ...well, yes. Just like it's a blind kids fault that he's running into stuff, a deaf kids fault that he missed what you said. I refuse to let my empathy be jaded by assholes, just like a blind person won't let some bruises stop them from walking.

So let's change the old adage, shall we?

What do you think about "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you're an asshole."
I think it's just the right amount of forgiving while avoiding self-blame, yeah?

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