Posted by: Sally Ingraham | February 15, 2008

Throwing Stones

“I was struck anew by the ease with which people believe the worst rather than the best about a person, even when the best has been a person’s whole life.”
– Alice Walker, from Anything We Love Can Be Saved

‘ “Where have you been?”
“Just out dealing with things way above my maturity level.” ‘ – from the movie Juno

It has been an awkward week. Some of the storm surf from the hurricane that struck me back in November finally broke against the shore and turned into calm ripples, to speak figuratively. I came to terms with a lot of new and scary emotions and realized that I could handle them – perhaps not wonderfully well, but at least adequately. I embraced my own failings and took responsibility for my own actions.

I accepted the fact that I am no better than the next person, that in truth I was just as ready as everyone else to cast the first stone, especially if it would save my own ass. It’s hard to discover things like this about yourself. It certainly knocks you off your high horse and makes you realize that you were a terrible rider anyway.

I am better off walking, on my own two feet, in the dirt like the simple wanderer that I am.

Here, closer to the ground, I have discovered that my feelings of betrayal can not be so strong or so bitter as I would perhaps like, because I held the people who I think betrayed me to too high a standard of being. I asked too much of the people who I placed all my belief in and hope and dreams upon, when “a complete absence of mistakes, errors of judgement, or emotional and spiritual breakdowns should never be required.”*

People will disappoint me again, perhaps even hurt me. I now understand that when that time comes, I have the duty “at the least, to give a thought to the context of their actions, to study them, to have the humility to place gently at their feet the stone [I’ve] come to throw.”**
Ponce at Peak
I would ask that others do the same.

*Alice Walker, Anything We Love Can Be Saved
**Same as above


  1. That’s good stuff. However, there’s nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. Humility can be misconstrued for sheepishness sometimes.

  2. That’s true – and part of this whole learning experience recently has been just that – figuring out how and when to stand up for myself.

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