Monday, November 11, 2013
If you disagree with this, I'll forgive you
Driving home Friday night, at some point the juxtaposition of two otherwise seemingly unrelated thoughts drew me to an unlikely conclusion.
The first thought centered around Andrew Bynum, who was returning to play against the 76ers that night. As backround, when the 76ers traded (an awful lot) to get him last season, he was one of the top players in basketball. It was only after getting him that the extent of an injury he had became partially, and eventually fully known. As a result, he never played a single game for the 76ers and the fans have made it clear on sports talk radio that they resent him for it, not just because they were so excited to get him and their team gave up so much for him and ended up with nothing, but because it was alleged that after he had one bad knee and had missed half the season, it was reported that he then hurt his other knee...bowling! With half the season yet to play! And then when the season ended there was a youtube video posted of him dancing the salsa in Spain, on the knees he supposedly couldn't play on.
But now with his contract ended with Philly, he is playing for another team, and is just the proverbial shell of his former playing self, averaging half the minutes and less than a quarter of the points and rebounds he had before he was hurt.
So there was an expectation, since met, was that the 76ers fans were coming to the game more to boo Bynum than to cheer their hometown Sixers. Even though I am a fan of the Sixers and understood why the fans were upset, I felt myself feeling more sorry for the player than angry with him. And, as I say, I felt a certain amount of sympathy for him.
My second line of thinking was being upset with myself for some relatively innocuous thing I'd said earlier that day. I can't even remember what it was now, but it was similar to something I'd said earlier in the week that I still wish I could take back. I was walking into a meeting with a prospective Head of West Chester Friends School and was introduced as the President of the Board, which I virtually never identify myself as, usually just saying I'm a member of the Board, lest it seem I'm trying to impress anyone.
Someone else in the room, who I admire greatly, then said "He's a very important person!" And when I looked at her, she had her usual big smile that let me know she was just kidding me, but complimenting me at the same time. All I could think of, having somewhat being put on the spot, was that she was right, but only in terms of Trev and Emma and the rest of my family, but under the pressure of the moment, with all eyes on me, all I could think to say was "I am, to some people."
It wasn't until 5-10 minutes later that I thought back to that exchange and thought - what a dolt! That was worse than if I had just identified myself as the President in the first place. It both seemed condescending and self-righteous in one badly played sentence. And I've been trying to find a way to go back to her to apologize ever since. But then I think it seems self-absorbed to even come back to it at all and she has probably long forgotten it.
And so I'm kicking those thoughts around, thinking how unnecessarily hard I'm being on myself when it hit me:
Liberals are much more forgiving of other people than they are of themselves and conservatives are more likely to be just the opposite.
Posted by Jamie McVickar