Welcome to Day 17 of Kat McNally’s Reverb14 journey in which she writes:
Apologies for the slightly controversial subject line! I stole it with love (and kind permission) from my friend Summer Pierre’s absolutely brilliant comic of the same title. I love the way she realises how hard she has been on her ideas, and how little room she has given them to play, make mistakes and evolve.
How can you stop being an a**hole, get out of your own way and make room for more of your magic to happen in 2015?
Hands up. How many reading this post had an emotional reaction to today’s prompt? I certainly did and it wasn’t a good one either. and if I hadn’t recently become familiar with Robert Sutton’s body of work – The No Asshole Rule – I may have reacted very differently to my first pass by today’s prompt. Mr Sutton’s states that giving something a ‘dirty title’ will likely elicit an emotional response. I think he has a good point: “There’s an emotional reaction to a dirty title. You have a choice between being offensive and being ignored.” (Robert Sutton, The No Asshole Rule.) The subject of his book is workplace bullying which is not today’s topic but his idea of using emotive language to provoke a response truly worked on me today.
And now to my response to today’s prompt.
Let me start by saying I do not think of myself as an asshole or, for that matter, an arsehole, or a bottom, or one part of a pair of buttocks or a derriere or a backside or any other body part. I am the sum of more than my body parts or my behaviours. I am evolving on so many levels each of which have a centre upon which layers build. Who I am today may not necessarily be who I am next year, or who I was ten years ago.
I have written many words reflecting my inadequacies, shortcomings, weaknesses and lists identifying wish lists to last me into eternity. Do these inadequacies and challenges make me an asshole? Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever, I am disinclined to tout this list out again.
However, what I will confess to being, frequently, is a jerk. Semantics you say. Jerk – asshole. What’s the difference? I am frequently a jerk – take the last box of envelopes and forget to tell anyone; use the last of the milk without replacing it etc. Most of us have done similar things at times. An asshole does them all the time despite repeatedly being asked to pull their fingers out and do the right thing.
Scripture talks about allowing ourselves to become less so that God can shine through us in a bigger way. That’s what I am taking from this prompt … that my weaknesses become less (of the focus) and the “magic” He has placed within me is able to shine through to a greater extent in 2015.