Misanthropic Jo??

First, I offer an apology because this is mainly a rant, and I don’t usually dig the whole ranting thing. But here goes.

I am feeling very misanthropic right now.

mis·an·thrope  (mĭsən-thrōp′, mĭz-) also mis·an·thro·pist (mĭs-ănthrə-pĭst, mĭz-)n.

One who hates or mistrusts humankind.

[French, from Greek mīsanthrōpos, hating mankind : mīso-, miso- + anthrōpos, man.]

[The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.]

That I sometimes hate people might surprise some of you, while others of you may have known it for a year or more. There’s a certain mood I get into sometimes—more than simple introversion (which only requires time alone to “recharge”)—when I am annoyed by just about every person I see. The person doesn’t have to have done anything wrong in the slightest; in fact, it’s usually the most unsuspecting and innocent people who are the subjects of my silent annoyance and unspoken wrath. I apologize, truly. Sometimes I get into a rage against everything, and everyone, including myself. I am first on the list of people I want to get away from. Jo Horton? I would like her to crawl into a hole and disappear from sight for about ten years, until everyone forgets the silly thing she happened to just have said or done.

So it’s mostly out of fear or shame that I have these spells of misanthropy, I guess. When I’m embarrassed, or frustrated at myself, or whatever, I take it out on other people. Usually not with words or actions, but by thinking bad thoughts. Thoughts like “Why doesn’t everyone just go away?” or “I’m tired of having to deal with people.” Awful wishes that, if they came true, would be truly horrible to contemplate. Can you imagine a world without people?

If you can’t, then just imagine your school, your city, or your home—really, wherever you feel you belong—and then think of how it’d be if everyone else did leave you alone. You’d still be there, doing whatever you normally do, but everyone else would have gone away. Terrifying? It is to me, anyway. I wouldn’t have to “deal with people” anymore, that’s true—but just think of the silence that would come. Everything would be so quiet. For me, being quiet would cease to be a luxury; I wouldn’t have a choice in the matter. And when I did speak, there wouldn’t be anyone to listen.

The emotion I said I felt when I started writing this is leaving me, thank goodness. Occasions like this make me very thankful that God doesn’t grant my thoughts or un-thoughtful wishes. I’m glad God knows what I want better than I know.

Things like this blog post are not pretty or nice for me to write—I feel more hesitant to publish this because it makes it more clear that Jo ain’t perfect after all (surprise, surprise!). For some of you, it might seem like I’m over-thinking things—after all, I didn’t really hurt anyone with my (unjustly) impatient thoughts. I didn’t “sin.” Maybe it’s natural to feel a little misanthropic every now and then. It’s certainly more comforting to think so.

It’s not something I should remain in, however. As a Christian, I’m responsible to God for even my thoughts: at the risk of taking a verse out of context [yikes!], Christians are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, if you’d like to check my theology—if I did take things out of context, come tell me:) I’m even more certain of this idea when reading Philippians 4:8, where the author provides a handy list of how we are to think:  

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

I’m pretty sure “hate or mistrust of humankind” does not fit under any of those categories. I ought to love God, and love my neighbor, which is all of you, all the time. Thank you for allowing me to get these things out of my system, and I hope it was worth the while you took to read it.

<><Jo

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