Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shake It Out, Shake It Out

All male athletes were called to attend a seminar at the beginning of freshman year. Male football, basketball, and hockey players stood beside swimmers, wrestlers, and runners. The topic of the seminar: how to treat women. Or, realistically, how not to treat women.

College is full of girls that want to...let loose. A lot of those girls want to let loose with athletes. Sweet, think the male athletes. Their dreams have come true.

There's the fun--the partying, the kissing, the sex. But what comes after? What comes when those girls get clingy, become jealous of one another, get a little "cray cray"? How is a male athlete supposed to behave when faced with such exhausting and demanding behavior of the opposite sex?

To this question, an ill-advised young man had a solution.

"You just shake 'em," he said, "you just shake 'em 'til they get some sense."

Oh. My. God.                                       

And that is what the seminar was for.

I couldn't believe my ears when Garrett first told me this story. I was appalled.

But in retrospect, I think, maybe he wasn't so far off.

There are a lot of people that I'd like to shake right now.

There is a woman who doubts her beauty. I want to shake self-worth into her.

There is a man who turns too quickly to anger. I want to shake peace into him.

There is a woman who refuses to take care of herself. I want to shake sense into her.

There is a man who doesn't know his boundaries with women. I want to shake manners into him.

There is a woman who talks too much and says nothing. I want to shake quiet into her.

There is a man who does not try hard enough. I want to shake ambition into him.

There is a woman who works too hard. I want to shake rest into her.

There is a man who speaks no truth. I want to shake honesty into him.

There is a woman who devalues herself in the presence of men. I want to shake self-respect into her.

I fully understand that one cannot shake self-worth, peace, sense, manners, quiet, ambition, rest, honesty, and self-respect into another. And I'm not trying to make light of the serious issue that man had with his projected behavior to women. But sometimes, I'm at a loss of what to do. I can extend my hand, reassure, give guidance, slap a wrist, offer an ear, and still, it does not help. Sometimes, you simply cannot help those who will not help themselves.

Coming to understand that you cannot always help others is no easy feat.

Now that I have reached this understanding, and know I can't shake help into some of the people around me, I will, in the words of Florence, just have to "shake it out" myself.


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