I really hate being misunderstood and judged and I can't help but feel that way today. Let me explain.
I was on twitter and I asked a question, I tweeted "if God had a formspring what questions would you like to ask?" (In case you don't know formspring.com is where you can have an account and people can ask you questions anonymously)
So my homie Shach tweeted at me "what would you ask?" I had never actually thought what I would ask. I mean I have loads of questions for God but I understand that many of the questions I have will not be answered this side of the grave for example the ones posed in this short youtube clip:
So what I replied shach was "I would ask God what do I need to do to be successful?" and I honestly would like God to let me know that right now. Someone else hopped into the conversation from nowhere (as it happens on twitter) and said "So your first thought is a selfish one? Fail" and then the same person tweeted to me "To be honest that's genuinely sad. You're one of 7 billion people; success may be the point when you see them all as equals"
I have to say I was a bit baffled because the question I posed wasn't asked in a deep frame of mind and because right now I'm thinking of what success really means beyond the normal personal gain and money/possession acquisition definition of success needless to say I felt misunderstood. I tried to explain this then this same person tweeted "The question wasn't about success, simply "what would you ask"? For me, ending AIDS and malaria would be high up the list" before this, the same person had tweeted "It's not about God - it's about whether you give a damn about other people. See Jesus, Ghandi, MLK for more info"
So it appears my question is selfish and sad. Is my question not valid and legitimate? Is it wrong? For me succeeding (well one of my definitions of success) is finding a way to help young people and enriching their lives and not just gaining wealth and possessions although I would like that too but I felt like the question I would ask God was misunderstood and undermined.
I hate being misunderstood. I hate people assuming that they know me and this is what happens in social networking whether it is on twitter, facebook or whatever, it gives the illusion that folks really know you like that. It gives the feeling of familiarity and all of a sudden folks think they can neatly define and categorise you. They think they have you all figured out and even relate to you based on this "knowledge" they think they have of you. Sometimes folks don't really wanna know you, they just wanna know if you fit into a pre-conceived notion they have in their heads.
I felt let down because I expected this person to know better but I realise I've made the same mistake. I've assumed that based on the some social networking interaction that this person is non-judgemental and open minded enough not to assume they "know" me like that and that already set me up to be let down.
I felt like this person who is an atheist by the way and has a certain view of black churches which focuses on materialistic prosperity (which I actually agree with and speak about frequently) has cast me in the same shadow. So now that I have said my question to God would be "what am I meant to do right now to be successful?" It has been placed in that same materialistic context when I'm against that. For me it was just an honest question I would ask because right now and acutally for a long while I have been redefining what success is in my mind.
If that makes me sad and selfish to someone else who should know better or doesn't even really know me like that then so be it. It shouldn't upset me because you don't know me like that! I guess I allowed it because I thought this person would know better.
I guess I'm just going to mark this down as a lesson learned, or more accurately a lesson re-learned.