Thursday, June 16, 2011

Honey Badger Don't Care

Many of you netizens are likely familiar with the infamous Honey Badger and his non-caring ways.  For any who aren't, I give you this:  It's well worth the watch. (Warning: Snappy Language; Mellivorate Culinary Violence.)  This viral video spawned the catchphrase "Honey Badger don't care." It even has its own Twitter hashtag: #HBDC. But for all its twisted silliness, it occurred to me this morning, as I conversed with my good friend Di, that perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from Honey Badger.

I've been characterized, at times, as a "Type A," and at others as an "Alpha Female."  I don't always see myself that way, though I can understand why I may be perceived as such.  In part, it comes with the territory of being a litigator.  Passivity and meekness don't really go hand-in-hand with courtroom advocacy. You're regularly called upon to do battle, albeit with wit and words, rather than swords, but it does require a certain degree of aggressiveness.  Then, too, I was brought up believing that I was capable of doing almost anything I put my mind to -- that with enough hard work, focus, and perseverance, I could achieve most any goal.

And that's what most of us are taught from a young age: Choose a goal; formulate a plan for achieving it; put your nose to the grindstone and go after it. No, you won't always succeed, but that's certainly the best recipe for doing so.  This methodology applies to virtually every facet of our lives: education, career, finances, athletics, artistic expression.  Wherever your passions lay, this is how you pursue them. 

Except relationships. There's something unique about the human heart that causes it to defy logic and throw all the regular rules of "success" out the window.  Especially from the female perspective.  Regardless of "how far we've come," there's something inherent to the male-female dynamic that makes aggressive pursuit of one's "goal(s)" unseemly, to say the least.  Visions of Glenn Close and bunnies aboil on the stove leap to mind. 

This doesn't, of course, prevent girls and women from doing just that.  But I've yet to see positive results yielded from that approach -- for anyone I know.  Instead, we are taught, either overtly, or by experience, to passively sit and wait for Prince Charming to come along and sweep us off our feet.  That love will only happen when we aren't looking for it to.  That, while it may be a laudable goal, it is not something we work towards.  (Never mind the fact that once found, it often does require work to not be lost.) 

Anyone who knows me well at all, or who's read enough of my blogs, knows I'm a romantic at heart.  Though life's bumps and bruises have taught me that fairy tales are just that, I still find myself drawn to that ideal.  I am hardly alone in this, I realize.  But to be honest, for me, it's become a liability.  Rather than focusing on what I have (which is so very much) instead of what I don't, I keep stubbing my toe on the threshold between the two.  And that, in turn, has caused me to lose focus on the things in my life over which I can reasonably expect to exert some control.

I've been called stubborn at times, too.  This is not at all an unfair characterization.  And I'm learning that there lurks inside me a stubborn child who, much like the 16 year old me, demanding a later curfew for my 17th birthday or nothing at all, seems poutily determined not to focus on and enjoy all the blessings God has given me unless I can have my fairy tale, too.  Yeah.  That'll get me far.  No.  No, in fact, it won't.  It'll get me forever entrenched in underachievement and Poor Me-hood.  Not to mention put a strain on my relationship with God.  I'm pretty sure He has my number. 

So, what's a hopeless romantic to do if she wants to free herself of these silly self-imposed bonds?  She might do well to take a page out of Mr. Honey Badger's book.  Because, you know, Honey Badger don't care.  And that seems to work pretty well for him.  He's singular in his focus and successful in his pursuits.  You don't see him lazing around, daydreaming about his honey badgerette soul mate.  You don't see him moping, when he should be out snarfing down cobras. 

Now, don't you worry about yours truly turning into a jaded old badger.  There's still plenty in my life to care about, and I will do so happily. I just think it's well past time to set aside the things that distract and detract from my pursuit of goals that are not only worthwhile, but actually attainable through hard work and focus.  Thanks, Honey Badger.  Even if you don't care.  ;)

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