I find it really interesting—not the good kind of interesting—when I am judged before a person has even met me. I have been contacting local galleries about performing for a Prescott’s 4th Friday Art Walk performance. This is a volunteer gig where you play for tips.
I emailed back and forth with a fellow from one of the galleries about a time to meet. I had something come up last minute the day we were scheduled to meet and contacted him right away. I didn’t have his telephone number, so I emailed him. In response, he sent an email reprimanding me for being a flakey musician. I apologized and wished him well, and he sent yet another hostile message.
What I find even more intriguing, albeit disheartening, is that the awful energy and hostility from this one person has successfully overshadowed the kindness and light I have received from countless others on this very same day.
Why is that? I have asked this question time and again in my life.
I can recognize that each person who sends such negative intention my way seems to have suffered from a past or current trauma. This particular individual told me that other musicians had not shown up for gigs in the past. One violinist decided to go on a picnic instead.
I tried to explain that I was not that violinist. As I am reflecting on this experience while I write, I am realizing that I don’t really need to explain myself to him or anyone else. I have learned with time and experience that there are some individuals with whom it is not worth wasting time and effort trying to engage in a dialogue because their idea of dialogue is a one-way lecture of sorts. To even be heard or seen as having an opinion of value is next to impossible.
As with so many weird encounters with other beings, I don’t think the person’s behavior was really about me. He will, however, be added to the list of individuals I hope can find peace and joy in their lives and not direct whatever unhappiness they are holding onto toward other people.
The world needs more kindness and understanding, so I am doing my best to empathize with him and to recognize that he had been spurned by musicians in the past and thus felt that I, too, had spurned him.
I hope he can come to understand that not all musicians or people are flakey and that no person deserves this kind of treatment or judgment.