I blew a gasket yesterday evening at one of the neighborhood kids. We--usually my wife--often have to redirect his behavior when he’s at our house: don’t throw toys on the roof—especially when they’re not your toys; quit tromping in the flowerbed; and it’s the end of the day so go home.
I think there are kids in the area who like to come to our house because it’s comfortable for them, and perhaps safer. No one yells at them.
And I didn’t yell yesterday either. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a substantially sized fellow. I have a fairly intense personality but I try to temper it with a softer voice.
But even though I kept my voice low, the neighborhood kid, who does not seem to be burdened with an overabundance of good sense, could see I was irate. He had been roaming in the front yard and started looking through our windows into the house.
Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but I have enough of people looking at me and commenting on my life and I don’t want some kid invading my space like that. I open the front door abruptly enough to get his attention and tell him, “Don’t look in the windows of houses. It’s considered impolite. Especially, don’t look in the windows of MY house.”
The kid said, “I didn’t know it was rude.”
I shrugged. “That’s why I was telling you.”
I’m a public person. I stand in front of people and open up my thoughts and feelings regularly. Sometimes in my sermons I confess a vulnerability, so I can get others to look at theirs. While most appreciate this, there’s always some that want to pass judgment.
There are others who monitor where I am constantly. They notice when I leave the house, how long I’m at the office, who comes to see me, and for how long. It’s their hobby.
When I get home, I close the doors and the drapes. I don’t want the public to see when and what I’m eating, what I watch on TV, and what I wear at home.
I’ll admit I’m just plain sensitive about it.
Just as soon as I write these words, I also remember the searing loneliness I feel most of the time. If I feel that isolated, shouldn’t I open the doors and windows and quit yelling at little kids who peer inside?
Being evaluated is not the same as having company. Friendship begins with acceptance and then with maybe, I don’t know, friendliness?