Hello Kettle, Black Pots Steam & Trumpet

black swan pot fireSome pots are so blackened that they think they gleam only in the color of innocence, and are the only innocents that matter. Makes you just wanna smack ’em! Sorry, Karma, but there are those days, you know.

From Wikipedia:  “The idiom The pot calling the kettle black is used in a situation where a person is considered guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another. It dates from the time when cooking was done over an open hearth fireplace; both the kettle and the cooking pot would be suspended above it and collect the same amount of soot. The earliest instances {of using this saying} date from the early 17th century”.

More recently, comedian Stephen Colbert somewhat updated the idea when he coined the marvelous word, truthiness:  “Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support”.

I‘ve had my share of encounters with either idea  and  have crossed the path of one or two of the blackest of these pots.  These are the ones who actually seem to be more Black Swan than mostly innocuous semi-hypocritical vessels.

You may have known one or two of these (pardon me), foul fowl as well.  I mean the kind that swim regularly in the pool of the pet words  –  impetuous, petulant, and petty.  They can be Brutus-like power posers or your sweet as pie pals on the surface, but they both practise the behavior of intimidation and bullying to get their own way, or in revenge for not getting their way.

Generally, I’ve learned to simply cross the metaphorical street with this sort.  You can try to have a heart to heart chat with them, but if you do and the result isn’t something you can live with, do yourself a favor and let it go.  It’s unlikely that you’ll gain a win/win with that kind of mindset.

It’s more likely the most you’d be losing is a load of unnecessary aggravation.  I have every reason to know that there really are few things in life that really are important enough to stand your ground for, and an honest heart to heart with yourself will move you in the right direction in deciding that.

Putting the darkest side aside, while we’re being honest, I suspect that we’d all admit that, from time to time, we are the pot too.  I’ve often heard it said that we are irritated most by the things about others that are in us.  If so, I think it’s really about the degrees of it; the more we’ve worked through those bothers of our own, the less we are bothered by them in others.  This idea has also been followed up by another saying – we teach most what we need to learn.

If we aren’t sure what we may most need to learn at the moment, we could pay attention to what we are putting out there the most.  What are we thinking about?  What are our conversations centered on?  What are our social media posts  about?  If we put out a particular message or focus on a semi-regular to regular basis, it says as much to us as it does to those we’re supposedly ‘teaching’.  Probably more so.

Our only life-changing job in life is our own.  If we do that well, we and our loved ones will flourish.  Doing it well means doing it in accordance to the real meaning of the teachings that come our way, not by following our personal ‘truthiness’ interpretations as conveniently needed.

Regardless of how black our pots become, we all start out the colour of shiny innocence.  At some point we have to accept responsibility for washing it as needed ourselves, and in knowing that we don’t have a right to scrub another’s.

RL

Originally Published on 7/19/2013

9 thoughts on “Hello Kettle, Black Pots Steam & Trumpet

  1. Pingback: The Blacker the Pot… Guest Comment by Paul Curran | Blog Woman!!! – Life Uncategorized

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