Every few months or so I tell myself that it would be better for my mental health if I stopped reading the comment sections of news sites. Then I get curious and read them. Then I get all irritated with how bizarre and stupid people are. So I try to leave a comment with some basic common sense thinking it will diffuse the extremists and all it does it get my comments a lot of "thumbs down" and a lot of comments saying I've been "brainwashed by the system" and all that. Then I really think our country is full of dumbasses. Then I have to go through the process of reminding myself that usually the people who comment on new sites are the ones who are the most extreme in their beliefs and that extremists don't want to hear anything about reality or common sense. Then I remind myself it is not good for my mental health to read the comment section on news sites.
The first book I read by Jon Ronson (which led me to being a huge fan) was Them: Adventures with Extremists. It was eye opening about how many loopty-loops there are in the world, but it also was a good book for me to read because Jon Ronson's attitude of calm acceptance of this particular reality was so encouraging. His background as a journalist who is an emotionally distant outsider just reporting the facts made it much easier for me to think about all the diverse types of people out there and that it doesn't matter if they believe things differently from me ... like that our president is actually one of the alien lizard people who are taking over the world. I have no problem with people believing all sorts of different religions (as long as they don't try to argue with me that their religion is the only way and I'm a bad person for not believe it - then the are treading into "being a jerk" realm) so I guess as long as they're not hurting anyone I should have no problem with people who believe that government spies are watching us all the time and that Liberals/Conservatives (depending on the nutcase talking) are in cahoots with the devil to bring on the Apocalypse. (I find it interesting that "cahoots" is actually in spell check).
This is going to be an issue I can already tell when I become an equine massage therapist. There is nothing I can do about people being poor riding instructors and teaching people in ways that to me seem dangerous. The trainer at our barn that I got so mad at when she left a student alone on a horse she couldn't handle so that she (the trainer) could chase down two stallions that had escaped and were fighting (previous post lists all the "shouldn't do that's" such as don't leave the beginner on the horse when stallions are fighting outside, don't leave the beginner alone on the horse at all, the child wasn't wearing a helmet, etc. etc) Anyway, I can't do anything about instructors like that. And the child was back last week to take another lesson so I can't do anything about dumbass parents who can't recognize a dangerous situation when they see it. But what will be hard will be situations where a person is actively doing stuff to damage the horse and I don't know what to do about that. It's not my place to tell a professional trainer "what you're doing is hurting the horse, you need to train horses differently". That would be a very fast way to lose all credibility because horse training is not in my scope of practice. But at the same time, in good conscience how will I just watch that behavior and not say anything? I'm hoping that is something we will talk more about in class.
I thought a lot about that in the Buck Brannaman clinic a few weeks ago. I even said to his assistant, Nathan "How can you guys be so calm? I get so angry and riled up when people don't do things right," and he looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about and said, "You just learn to take things in stride," or something like that. And the calm way he said it was baffling to me. I need to get to that point. I'm not a superhero who has to go out and make everyone be a fair and just horse whisperer. I can't save the world. There is a section in a book by Buck Brannaman called "Believe" where he talks about one time he was being beaten and he saw a neighbor watching what was happening and then walk away and how he realized as an adult how that might've been the best thing the neighbor did and listed off some of the negative repercussions that might've happened and been worse had the neighbor tried to intervene. So that is an interesting take on the whole "accepting the things you can not change" thing - something I struggle with quite a bit.
It's not like Buck just let people do things wrong in the clinic, I do recall him saying at one point something along the lines of, "What is it about you people that you can't let go of the reins when it's time?" and that amused me because Trainer K. has said a similar thing to me doing the same exercise with Maiden asking her to stretch then trying to get me to give her enough rein to fully stretch. But he didn't seem to get upset about it like I was on the sidelines. One person I just wanted to hop up and yell, "What is wrong with you? He said LIGHT contact! That doesn't mean yanking your horse's face and wrenching his neck until he starts bucking because he's in so much pain! Get off this horse right now you idiot until you can listen!" No, that would not be nice. I need to work hard on being nice. A lot of times people just don't know any better. Just like how my brain understands the right timing for transitions but my body can't do it yet. They might just not be able to immediately get the idea just yet.
I think this part of the aspect of equine massage will be far more challenging for me than anything else. But probably good for me at the same time.