I had noticed that over the course of the last year or so, I had begun to harshly criticize atheists much more often than religious believers, but recently it occurred to me that I had been spending less time with time with believers, and almost no time discussing religion with believers. it may well be that
1. I criticize everybody. All the time. Excessively. Very excessively, maybe.
I started watching "The Big Bang Theory" when TBS started showing it in syndication. It took me a while to get over my annoyance at the show's laugh track -- it's the 21st century, for crying out loud -- but right away I identified strongly with the character of Sheldon Cooper, and thought: He's so wonderful, such a brilliant autistic genius.
2. It took me over 20 episodes to realize that Sheldon constantly annoys all of the other characters on the show. Severely annoys them. This annoyance, Sheldon's social dysfunction, is in fact the biggest driving force of the action of the series. And all I could think, 20 shows long if not longer, was, He's so like me and He's so wonderful. Self-absorption and lack of self-awareness calling, will I accept the charges?
3. Over the past 35 years, I've never maintained a romantic relationship for more than 3 months.
4. Over 35 years ago, when I was a teenager, I maintained a relationship for 2 1/2 years, but recently I completely forgot about that when thinking over my relationships, and considered my longest relationship to have lasted 3 months.
And so, to some up,
It seems I may be a real bastard, an extremely annoying old fart who does not even honor the best things which have happened to him. This would explain some things like why I'm so lonely.
I really don't like to think of myself as nasty old bastard -- but seriously: who does? I'm guessing: fewer than the actual number of nasty old bastards. It's not at all pleasant to think of myself in this way, but here, as always and everywhere, recognizing a problem and facing it squarely is essential to any hope of ever solving it.
Okay, I may have achieved one insight from this exercise already. Maybe not a big one, I don't know. It's just that I can keep in mind how harsh my criticism feels when I focus it on myself.
Keep that in mind when I'm talking to others.