Friday, February 24, 2012

Toxic People

I have heard of toxic wastes, and have seen the results of it here on Lake Granbury.  I have also heard of toxins in our body and the potential effects. In fact, I have even heard of toxic people before!  But today it occurred to me that the word can be used in a very different way.

I grew up around toxic influences. I suspect a lot of us did.   My dad had a man working for him that I ended up having to be around some on the job when I was about 13 years old.  He had an extremely degrading mindset toward women.  As a naïve 13 year old, I had never been exposed to someone like that before. He opened my eyes to a world that was entirely new to me.  I didn’t know what to call the ideas he was impressing on me at the time.  Today I would call it a toxin of the worst variety.

I went on to graduate from high school and enroll at a large university.  One of the professors I had my sophomore year told the entire class of Accounting Principles that it was intended to be a weed out course.  He proceeded during the course of the semester to purposely make it difficult to excel academically.  He too was a toxic influence, and a not a true educator.

Over the years I have been around people that are consumed in negativity.  They are chronic complainers and perpetual whiners.  They have an uncanny way of spreading their poison with their active mouths.  I wish I could flush my mind of their damaging words and unconstructive attitudes.

And then there are those that cover their toxins with an air of righteousness.  Such seemingly saintly individuals convey a religious fervor that would appear to rival Mother Teresa’s love for the poor.  But underneath the veneer of righteousness is a particularly dark toxin.  In reality, they are anything but Lily White.

And finally there are people that try to make us think we are worthless.  They purposely put us down.  They criticize our choices and make us feel inferior.
They fill us to the brim with the toxin of self doubt.

It occurred to me this week that one of the tasks we face in life is to purify ourselves of toxic influences.  It is important to call it what it is and move on with life.  We can’t allow self righteous people destroy our spiritual growth with the toxicity they spread everywhere they go.  Nor can we allow hypercritical individuals to assault our self worth with the poison they spread.  Part of celebrating the journey is to recognize toxicity and deal with it accordingly. 

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