I was raised by a bookish and intellectual father who had high expectations for his first born and I was a first hand witness to many of his ideas on life and society in general.
I was also born with a deformity of the ears where the outer flap does not curl inwards; instead it was left unfurled and made them large and obvious. This of course invited derision and ridicule from other children and, more unfortunately, even from adults who should have known better.
Mid 1960's Europe had not yet found its political correctness; at least not for certain things. I am not convinced that things would be different today however. But what I saw from a young age definitely coloured my perception of the world and, coupled with a gender issue I dare not divulge, I was left to muddle my way through and figure out what made people tick.
Much of what I saw I didn’t like.
My navigation through life included feigning superiority over others by using my verbal and intellectual skills to compensate for a lack of self confidence and easily damaged inner core. I would simply hover over the type of low brow person that would easily insult a young child with overly large ears and look down on them with derision for being so ignorant.
This technique appeared to work for me for a long time. It does however require e certain effort and tends to build a carapace around your soul.
So giving the benefit of the doubt is something I am not good at. My first instincts have always been to assume the worst. If someone cut me off in traffic they were always a jerk and never on their way to somewhere critically important like the birth of their first child or to the bedside of a dying parent.
With age I am slowly learning; emphasis of course on the slowly. N is helping me with this as she has a far greater tendency towards compassion for others and an affinity to connect with people.
I am trying to prove to myself that it is never too late to remake your personal constitution and improve who you are as a person.