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Stick and Stones & Words Break Bones

In the Bible there's a brief passage in the Book of James that says the tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

On Friday morning after a relatively tame debate between my wife and I (brought on by a temper tantrum thrown by my daughter), tempers flared just enough for my wife to call me a dick. I'm man enough to admit that I did in fact provoke a response from her, but I was caught off guard to hear this. At first I brushed it off with a chuckle.

But then I got to thinking...

If I was a dick:

  • I would come first, my job second, my mother and my father third, and my friends would round out the list.
  • I wouldn't be married. What possible reason would there be to settle down when there's a world of women to get to know?
  • If I even managed to be in a semi-serious relationship, Guys Night Out would always take precedence over Family Nights In.
  • I would never argue with my women (that's right, women) because I wouldn't believe women are equals --- so there'd be nothing to argue about.
  • I wouldn't take so much on the chin because a dick doesn't ever want to be seen as weak or vulnerable (which, in my humble opinion, is a true sign of weakness). A dick has an ego to protect at all times. I would always hurt before getting hurt.
  • I'd have a lot more money in the back on in front of me because there'd be no reason to spend it on anyone other than myself.
  • My insurance policy against ever having to get too emotionally attached to any one woman would be to have at least one other woman on the side stashed away in another part of town or in another state. She'd be on speed dial whenever I needed her company.
But I've never pursued any of these things, even when tempted. I'm just not built that way. As a close friend puts it: "E., we're nice guys. We're schmucks and suckers." Oblivious to our limits because we believe there should be no end doing our best to do good. We're unwilling to set boundaries because that wouldn't be fair to the people around us. Nice guys walk this planet anonymously, either ignored or under-appreciated by the world in which they strive to be better. Strong solitary figures of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. Lonely for the most part, because we are mostly misunderstood by the people closest to us.

I'm many things. I'm far from perfect. I'm sure I'm not always right and I'm not so sure I know as much as I once thought.

But I am not a dick.

To the nice guys I know off the top of my head: Hugh, Eric, Carter, Ernesto, Georges, Chris, Eddie, Duane, James, Andrew, Jesus, Tropical Alex, Akira, Joseph, Ludge, Alfonso, Frantz, Cal, Damon, Erik, Ken, Mike, Mark, Markus, Maurice, Paul, Peter, Beldin, Peter (my cousin), Shawn and Tony...keep on doing what you're doing.

You're not alone.

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