A Time to Not Answer

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My pulse skyrockets.

I can feel my heart beating in the glands under my jaw. I'm ready to take on the world if it came after me. I feel attacked and I'm ready to defend myself and, in so doing, take down my attacker.

...and then I pause.

I was just about to smack down a friend with The Truth which happens to have an additional +12 to Righteous Indignation and a chance on crit to deal 6 snark damage. Reminds me of the jokes we used to make about our Bible Thumping Jesus at Biola:

Jesus Ready to Thump You

"Respond, don't react." The maxim seeps into my consciousness. My pulse begins to slow, though my face still feels flushed. I don't want to escalate the situation. Well, I do. But only because I want to "win." But in my attempts to do so I'd merely give them reason to come back at me with The Truth--and +12 Righteous Indignation with a chance of snark. Which in turn would inspire me...


I must be the mature one. I need to eat it and just let it go.

I'm here to help. I'm here to encourage. I'm here to share what is true wherever possible. But too often, far too often, I can't. For whatever the reasons I am just not on the same plane. I'm talking past the issue and missing the point. And I simply can't hear what the other is really trying to say and failing to communicate to me.

"It's their fault," I tell myself, hoping I'm right. But a major part of the problem is that I'm simply not in their shoes. I don't know what's really driving the frustration, anger, mistrust. I'm hopelessly clueless and there is little chance of them taking the time to get me up to speed because it would take too long; I'm a little slow sometimes.

It hurts me to not respond. I like responding. I love the feeling of adrenaline coursing through my system. I enjoy telling people that I'm right. It thrills me to take on the world and "win."

But there are no winners here. Not today.

I say nothing and move on.

I'm here to encourage and to help. And if that's not what I'm doing, I should probably keep my mouth shut. I like giving answers, but if it's not a real question then I'm not helping anyone by jumping in.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father

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