Arseholics Anonymous

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Arseholics Anonymous

Before God we are all equally wise—and equally foolish. Albert Einstein

American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it. Dave Barry

People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools. Alice Walker

I was a young person once, shortly after the polar ice caps retreated, and I distinctly recall believing that virtually all adults were clueless goobers. Dave Barry

When love is not madness, it is not love. Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Forgive me my nonsense as I forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense. Robert Frost

The only requirement for membership in Arseholics Anonymous is a desire to stop being (such) an arsehole. Unlike other dis-eases, everybody suffers from arseholism sometimes, and sometimes more frequently than others. We all have our moments/days/years.

It may show up as the common cold shoulder, or foot-in-mouth dis-ease, the love-is-deaf-dumb-and-blind epidemic, the I-can-do-anything-better-than-you disorder, or the I’m-so-angry-I’m-going-to-yell-at-the-first-person-I-see syndrome, among thousands of others. There are as many afflictions as there are people, cellphones, and days of the Pleistocene.

The first step is admitting you’re an arseholic.

The second step is not condemning yourself for your arseholism, or others for theirs—work towards healing.

The third step is to practice compassion towards yourself and your fellow arseholics.

Humanity towards our fellow nincompoops is easier when we remember that arseholism is not always random. It has a greater chance of occurring at certain times—for example, the first time we do just about anything: first day of a job or at school, first date, or any form of public speaking, which, like certain other activities, may always feel like the first time. Then, there’s whenever we are nervous, afraid, discouraged, worried, hurt, angry, ignorant, unaware, self-conscious, un-self-conscious, drunk, high, on a stage or at a podium or anywhere near a stage or podium, and/or maybe especially whenever there is someone we want to impress or avoid nearby. Be alert—if not stopped by a kind and encouraging word or act, this may mushroom into an avalanche affect, where a person may experience an arseholic attack if anyone is nearby!

Anonymity is a compassionately essential aspect of this fellowship. Usually it’s best not to identify a fellow arseholic by name.

Also, it might be mercifully wise to remember that arseholism can be a curious matter of perspective. One person’s arseholism is another person’s wisdom. For example, there was a time when Vincent Van Gogh put candles on the brim of his hat so he could paint outdoors at night, and the village people laughed at him. I bet their descendents would be a lot happier if, instead, they’d stopped laughing and started buying his paintings.

This brings us to the fourth step: Do unto other arseholics as you would have them do unto you.

To paraphrase George Washington Carver: How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the numnuts, compassionate with the blockheads, sympathetic with the clueless goobers and tolerant of the dimwits and the dweedles. Because, someday in life you will have been all of these.

Carver’s actual quote: “How far you go in life, depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because, someday in life you will have been all of these.”


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