Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Many of us who call ourselves Geeks and Nerds do something that is very destructive, we hold onto the past. Specifically we hold one to past pains and hurts like badges of honor. For many of us, we were bullied and teased by our peers. That resentment and anger builds. Recently, the backlash of those hard feelings has presented itself in inappropriate ways. It has caused many in the Nerd and Geek culture to gate keep or in other words, to say who and who isn’t allowed. That is horse manure, why should we treat new folks like we had been by others. This is even more absurd that many behaving this way are allegedly grown adults.
Why have I begun to rethink this idea? I never liked gate keeping. Who are we to judge? Some of the so-called poseurs may become part of our tribe. Why behave like those who treated us badly, it makes no sense. Much of this behavior is targeted towards females, because many male geeks and nerds were hurt by females in their pasts. We as a community need to let go of our resentments, hurt and anger. Carrying this stuff becomes toxic. Thus creating a toxic environment we have been seeing with the attitudes towards the new influx of people embracing Geek and Nerd culture, especially females, people of color, and those from the LGBTQ community.
To be honest I did this myself. I held all the hurt from the bullying and teasing as a badge of honor, when actually it was a burden. I had been teased, ridiculed, bullied, and ostracized from grade school to high school and to a certain degree even in University. Recently, I learned what harm I had been doing myself holding on to this pain and hurt. One of my grade school to high school friends reconnected with me on Facebook. He used to rib me constantly; sometimes I thought he did not care for me much. It came out that the people I grew up with in grade school had been looking for me.
I was surprised by this and friended many folks from that era. I told many I was surprised that they wanted to know me again and were looking for me. I was reminded that I was one of them. This included some folks who were cruel and mean to me. I forgave them and asked forgiveness of those I believed I may have wronged myself. In one conversation I was reminded that we were all grown adults and were pushing 50. All these things happened when we were kids. Kids do stupid stuff. Holding onto to all the pain and hurt was not good for me. Some in the Geek and Nerd community allow that hurt and pain to define them. I do not want that kind of negativity to define me, so I let it all go.
To be honest there are still some wounds too raw those have not healed enough for me to move on completely. I am working on it. Those are all recent. I have given up holding onto the crap from childhood and high school. That is a waste of time and energy for someone over 30. I believe that this is the source of much of the toxicity we have seen in the Geek and Nerd community. Holding onto al this negativity only breeds the hate, rage and resentment we have been dealing with in that last few years. My advice to those who have been hurt, try not to hold onto that in the end it become toxic. If you exude toxic energy no one wants to be around that. That toxicity only creates more of the same and ends in a vicious circle. By letting go, it results in such a relief of that kind of burden. That Has Been My Not So Humble Opinion.