It has come to the forefront of my mind that pity is in fact selfishness masquerading as selflessness. Pity surfaces when outsiders recognize there are (typically poor) circumstances by which individuals are tested and therefore prove their character and personal strength. Individuals who are homeless, natural disaster survivors, afflicted with physical “abnormalities,” or assault survivors all have a story to tell and a future to live.
Pity discounts individual’s strength and the SURVIVOR piece to the puzzle.
When you pity my “condition” it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with your own pride and arrogance. You don’t pity my choice to be strong in spite of all I have had to wade through just to continue standing, you pity your own discomfort. You aren’t sad at the number of people I’ve slept with, or the box I call home, you’re sad that it reflects poorly on you.
Pity doesn’t ask for the story of why anyone have found themselves where they are. Pity is not kind, it is self serving. Pity masks the fact that you can tell that something is very wrong in this world by putting a sad face on while we think about how glad we are to not be “there.”
The dissonance felt is calling out for redemption and begging for salvation becomes ignored because pity tells us we are so righteous and reasonable to not allow ourselves to fall prey to such circumstances (that are often completely out of our control). Instead of pity, I would rather have you fully understand my journey through undesirable circumstance followed by the full brunt of judgement to my face. At least in that instance I would have gotten to present my case, instead of feeling like, for the sake of your comfort, I must apologize for the decisions I have made to survive.
You keep your pity, I will keep surviving.
I will keep searching for grace.