Another semi-focused stream of thought… If you ever find yourself saying that someone or something “makes” you feel a certain way – let’s say your brother, you’re best friend, or someone like that; or getting fired, accomplishing a months long project, overhearing something said about you – then maybe you ought to take another look at what you’re saying, and why.
Nothing “makes” you feel or act a certain way. What first happens, usually, is that you make the choice to give attention to whatever it is that seems to evoke a specific reaction out of you. That’s your personal power at work, not someone elses. And this isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, because people are perfectly capable of ignoring things that should probably be payed some attention… Anyways, that’s the first part in which exercising your personal power comes into play.
Not only do you decide what influences you, but you also decide how it affects you – sometimes deliberately, other times, subconsciously. It’s all you. I pointed out the role my words have when someone reads them in an essay entitled Vulgar Displays of Power, and took a stab at explaining that if my words influence you, it’s because you let them (i.e. I’m not the one responsible for what you do with them, whether the ripples are good or bad for you).
*shrugs* If a guy kills himself and leaves a note or his family tries to blame someone saying it was because of a song he listened to, was it the suicidal fella’s fault, or the musicians? I’m the kind of guy that says it’s on the shoulder of the idiot who offed himself. And there’s no line to cross, where the blame suddenly gets shifted elsewhere… if someone puts a gun to my head and tells me to do something I don’t want to, I’ve got to decide what I want more: do I want to do this and stay alive, or do I want a hole in my head?
That’s a pretty extreme example… but the point of it is that there’s always choice, and whether you want to deny it or not, you’re the one that makes it. Peer-pressure, a suggestive song, an atrocity at wherever… all to often, things like these are pointed to when someone does something they supposedly don’t want to, or does something stupid, or wants to justify their angsty attitude towards life…
What it comes down to? It’s all you. Own up to it.