One day, you find a yellow orchid in your room
But you don’t like orchids
A week later, the orchid starts flourishing
But you still don’t like orchids
Two weeks later you notice a golden reflection on its surface
You start disliking the orchid a little less
A month later, you bow to the orchid
For despite your dislike the orchid kept flourishing
And just like the orchid not everyone is going to like you
But as you continue flourishing many will admire you
I really loved this poem I saw in the Blogging platform Medium. I mean this was one of the best pieces I read today (though I didn’t read much today or any day, my reading is as daft and dry as an iguana in a snowman outfit). I really know this does feel true. Not being liked is a case that is considered quite important — two other stories seem to capture my attention focusing on likeability a) Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and maker of Facebook, has willingly become homeless to prove a point for likeability (he did it to have solidarity with homeless people) and b) NHS gets both critical feedback and admiration after Justin Bieber endorses for it. The second story has probably more to do with national health care than likeability but the NHS is a subject of much talked about criticism. If you ever lived in the UK or visited it for a long period of time you will know funding the NHS is a mammoth issue. And funding on it depends on likeability to an extent (I can be wrong but I feel rather than know it to be that way). Zuckerberg’s act followed his own criticism. Some of it is unfair. Others like the one by Mike Goldsmith, actually shows a better response:
Mark Zuckerberg making himself homeless is like a bulldog making himself a vegetarian. Selling stock ,buying a tent and deciding to camp out is not being homeless. Being homeless is when you lose everything, not give it up. It’s when you are forced to face the harshest elements of life by circumstance , not by choice. Camping out on a sidewalk, eating in a soup kitchen by choice isone thing but doing it as your only means of survival,that’s quite something else
I am sure Mark means well, but if he really wants to do something he should abandon these optics and do something that will really make a difference. With his resources he should do something to address the circumstances that put most of his new found friends on the street in the first place. He has the means to create and fund opportunities that would help a lot of people find new meaning and purpose. He could be a force behind new sources of rehab, retraining and jobs. Unfortunately, this “Look at me” optic is not the way to go.
So mark, If you really want to help, get off the street and actually do something that will make a difference. Stop acting like the lost little boy with to many toys and act more like the captain of innovation that you are….
That does make sense actually. We do get derailed to actually want “likeability” and this actually affects who we are. Like many people don’t talk about their editing processes feeling that likeability is focused on some template of genius. And that is true, we are all inculcated to believe the genius requires no effort. And for a while I believed that too. Actually, the genius might need more effort in many things and that, with her/his innate vision, is genius is usually born and borne. I will readily admit that I had to read the comments’ sections and also the main article to get the gist of what was happening in the Bieber article (the article by Williams is a bit vague if you ask me because I didn’t read the title properly but I also feel it paces on ambiguous terms without announcing its ambiguity because it probably doesn’t know what to think about itself; it is a bit divided and that is fine). However, most people won’t mention that for likeability. I am not always going to put likeability in parenthesis because likeability and “likeability” are both concrete and also elusive phenomenon. Everyday likeability and the major form of “likeability” (as a collective or pouring into theme) is faced by all of us. We may not know it but many or some of our actions are based on likeability and “likeability” — though it is true that some social etiquette and politeness should be taught many people overburden themselves with it all the time leading to overall ungratefulness. And this is where “likeability” and likeability actually does fail.
Jonathan Franzen wrote an article of being liked saying it was for cowards. The article also mentions Donald Trump but it was written in 2011 (Trump’s recent comments are more on the extreme scale than on any likeability or “likeability” scale: that is another topic. It is one thing to be disliked by going your own way and another to be disliked for racism, totalitarianism, extremism, plutocracy and oligarchic need for control in human interests which become reduced and violated as your own interests), so, it is more on how consumer culture is based on wanting to be liked more and it has nothing to do with love. Love is an adaptation, poetry in progress and motion, love is also constructive criticism, helping you reach great heights — liking is more about satiating some immediate need and moving on. Though that is important too the main thing I gleaned and developed my own way from this article is that you can’t have either/or: one extreme corrupts the balance you have for yourself. We must do things we like but we must also be challenged and become finer, polished beings, so we require that love too, tough or soft, it’s a need and ultimately a want for us as humans.
As some short stories on depression show in Medium that liking, even for a gift, after a point fails. I put in part of the story down below:
“Karen! Guess what?” he asks excitedly.
I look at him to acknowledge his question.
“I got you an iPhone 5 instead of 4!”
I consider this. I consider him –– his face lit up in excitement and anticipation of my reaction. I feel nothing.
“Pretty cool, right?” he says as he hands me the box.
I take the box from him and shimmy it open to reveal the iPhone nestled in itspackaging. As I lift it from its shell and examine the polished design, I think about how I should be grateful.
“Thank you, daddy,” I say because it is the right thing to say. But I still feel nothing. It takes a Herculean effort to force the corners of my mouth up.
Thoughts wander aimlessly through my mind. I think about how my dad is trying so hard to make me happy. I think about how disappointed my lack of reaction must be. I think about how if I felt any emotion, I would feel guilty for being unable to show him happiness. Guilty for not having accepted his gift with more grace and grandeur.
The pain in this piece is obvious. After a point likeability can fail. To a person suffering depression liking, likeability and “likeability” fails big time. Because there are times, like when is depressed or suffering from depression, no gift can really cheer you up.
Well, likeability and “likeability” in themselves can be complicated issues but no matter how complicated the complex in you has a greater chance fate and faith to win. Because we were all made to be uniques in and with and within a collective. So, we are born into a middle-ground many a times. Unless, you truly want extremity or it is dished out on via circumstances, I don’t think you have to worry on it being your identity too much though another reality is it is hard not to worry too much either. We just have to find frequencies that work for us.
The orchid at the beginning of the poem may have blossomed elsewhere or change its pot and dirt; but as long as its reached this state it’s fine even if no one admired it immediately for it or at all. The thing is some honest things won’t be admired either but you can choose if that is something you can live without being appreciated for: whether you can or cannot doesn’t also determine your worth; you may be living a different life and may have different needs. When I was younger I read the dialogue between Jane Eyre and Helen Burns pertaining to this likeability and “likeability” (the novel itself tracing a lot around it) — I suspected that Burns was wrong when she thought Eyre’s humiliation publicly in their boarding school should not matter as long as God still loved her. I wasn’t wrong in thinking Helen Burns was wrong but I was wrong in thinking she totally was. Burns is not totally wrong. To her, this sort of humiliation did not matter, she was older than Eyre and probably had faced this form of torment previously, she has known that people can be stupid and hypocritical and cruel. But she is wrong to seem desensitised to it and not understanding Jane Eyre’s younger self’s need of acceptance and also how justice needed to be served there which only honesty and truth could help prevail in it. Yet, at the same time Jane Eyre should know that getting their aproval should not be her end goal. Both have right arguments in that debate. It was the frequency, the extent of each voice in it, that needed to be understood and possess a corrected pitch.
I would like to conclude with someone’s poem, who is at the moment, my favourite poet on the internet:
If there’s a tic in your toc
It wasn’t me – I am afraid
Of its – r.a.p.i.d.n.e.s.s
Especially when running
So very – f.u.c.k.i.n.g – late
This poem by Mari Sanchez Cayuso is called Time. Someone in the comments stated that the use of expletives helps the piece. I agreed. If Mari was only vouching for likeability and “likeability” alone she may have exempted from it (though the young adult phenomenon of doing anything one wants is actually more with the grain than against it – that is also a separate topic; I just hinted on it). Yet, this piece is hers and honesty and truth on her conditions and beings is always why I loved and liked Mari’s poems. I guess, in her own way, she has shown a great balance in her for both things.