Sunday, July 10, 2011

Do you believe me?

I recently read a book about a boy with Asperger's (House Rules by Jodi Picoult) that I thought was pretty profound, but also a little disconcerting because I couldn't help but relate to the boy. I marked a passage that actually sums up how I feel sometimes. This boy is being tried for murder and his attorney asks him why he doesn't show that he misses the victim. This is his response:

"If I know I feel it, that's what counts. Don't you ever look at someone who's hysterical in public and wonder if it's because they really feel miserable or because they want others to know they're miserable? It kind of dilutes the emotion if you display it for the whole world to see. Makes it less pure."

While I don't conform to this quite as strongly as an autistic person, I often feel that blatant expressions of emotion can be construed as insincere. A person should not have to prove or insist how he or she is feeling - trying harder makes me wonder if they are trying to convince me. I feel the same way about compliments. Compliments are nice, but when it is emphasized repeatedly I wonder if they mean it or just want me to believe it.

Alright, that's enough of that. It's hard for me to articulate all of my thoughts on this topic. Anyway, good book - I'd recommend it.

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