I am blonde.
In fact, sometimes I look like an airhead, and sometimes I act like one. This is done by design. I enjoy having fun and seeing the bright side of life. Why should I not dance in the sun? Why can’t I laugh with the wind? What is so wrong with throwing down the rag top of my convertible and go roaring down the freeway? (In fact, I have been doing this for a long time and I swear, I will have a convertible of one kind or another for the rest of my driving life).
I am blonde because life is a crazy ride and we either cling to our tiny security bar and shut our eyes in fright or we open our eyes wide, scream like a banshee, and throw our arms up into the air even as we rush down towards the ground in an exhilarating rush of human ingenuity against gravity. I don’t mind looking and acting the fool sometimes. It really is the only way to live.
There is also a more important reason for my blondeness—to be noncontentious. It allows me to be carefree and to say what I wish without looking too scary or too vicious. I find that people tend to feel threatened if they think I am too smart, and often they will try to be derogatory or say things which they think will cut me down to size. My typical response is agreement. If someone wants to get in my face and tell me that I am a clueless blonde female, I shrug—I smile—I say, “Yep, I’m blonde alright!” and off I go, dancing into the sunset.
Don’t fault me for this lackadaisical attitude. Blame my teacher.
Lao Tzu told me:
Yield and remain whole
Bend and remain straight
Be low and become filled
Be worn out and become renewed
Have little and receive
Have much and be confused
Therefore the sages hold to the one as an example for the world
Without flaunting themselves—and so are seen clearly
Without presuming themselves—and so are distinguished
Without praising themselves—and so have merit
Without boasting about themselves—and so are lasting
Because they do not contend, the world cannot contend with them
What the ancients called “the one who yields and remains whole”
Were they speaking empty words?
Sincerity becoming whole, and returning to oneself
~ Tao Te Ching. Chapter 22. Translated by Derek Lin
So I analyze what he says, line by line, and I find that it is very hard to live without bending. In fact, it’s far easier to simply bend and wait until the onslaught of whatever occurs to roll over me first before unbending and springing back unharmed, rather than going up against that force and snapping at the weakest points.
I know much of what I write can be debated endlessly. I state my positions and shore them up with evidence or studies or convincing reasoning, but I will not get into raging debates. If anyone has ever had the idea that it is possible to change someone’s mind by arguing with them, then that person has not been in enough fights.
That’s why I tend to avoid the various free-for-all forums, not because I do not have the ability to shout someone down, but because I have done so quite often in the past and know how much energy and time it wastes. In the end, even if I have ‘won’ some hollow and brief victory, I will have done nothing to convince the person with whom I am having the discussion (argument) with. All I will have done is prove that the person who shouts the loudest wins.
It took me ten years to learn this lesson.
So now, all I do is state my truth and let it be.