Smart Aleck

Days Without Pirate Attack:

Days Without Pirate Attack:

I know I have had a lot invested in my quick-witted identity. I am swift with a retort or funny remark. I realized yesterday, that those remarks are usually made at someone’s expense and often dance along the edge of cruel. They are never kind.

My retorts are entertaining and intelligent but, when I target myself; I am being mean to myself. I am usually harsher in these self-deprecating remarks than I would ever be to another person.

This is what I thought “I am — ” It’s what I thought my value was. Yes, I created this identity, but I am also the one who must sustain it. Is this who I want to be? Just last Friday, I was talking to a friend about cognitive dissonance. I wondered what I wasn’t seeing in myself.

A quick wit and a willingness to speak out will always win the attention race: Look at me! Look at me! If you notice me, you must love me, right? If you laugh, you are on my side, right? I looked up the term “smart alec[k].” The Oxford English Dictionary and Wikipedia trace the origin to a con-man and thief. Sigh.

I am thinking now about those who always have a kind word to say. They are not first or clever with a comment, but I remember them with more appreciation. They last.


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