"I'm far more OKAY
than you are!"
How Okay ARE You?
"Like heck! I'm the
Queen of OKAY!"
It's okay to be either okay
or not okay or whatever
By AUDREY YEAGER
About 30 years ago, Thomas Harris wrote a best-selling book titled Im Okay, Youre Okay. Supposedly, it was the answer to all the problems of our species: A way of laying our negative and positive points out in front of us like a jigsaw puzzle and moving them around until we adjust our thinking to the best way of dealing with lifes many trials and triumphs.
We will have to leave the details of this study for a later time but, loosely, the goal was to delve into your mind and alter some of the darker patterns permanently, so as to live an Im Okay, Youre Okay kind of life. This made you the epitome of a good person.
The down side to such a notion is that it doesnt work that way. After all, we are dealing with human beings and humans have never yet been able to believe--and behave as if they believe--that they, and everyone else, are Okay. That comes later. Its called Heaven.
However, the philosophy is still around today, in fact, it has always been with us but in a little different guise, i.e. If it feels good, do it, and ignore the other guy if he wants to walk down main street naked and shouting obscenities. In some circles, this is called making a name for oneself, and who knows, you may feel like breaking loose with similar actions next week. Remember, in order to follow along this path of enlightenment everybody has to be Okay, not just you.
If someone never gets any further than the Im Okay, Youre Not Okay type, they are likely to be narcissistic. No one will want to be near his or her conceited self except perhaps the family dog--and even he will prefer the cat. In the old days he would have been referred to as a braggart, the guy who knows everything. That was before psychology, those dark days when we took dreadful chances with literally everybodys self-esteem, where we very well might have said, Take a look in the mirror, Sucker. Now, we gently tell him he is truth-deprived.
Speaking of self-esteem, Mr. Harris tells us the bunch that only made it as far as Im not Okay, Youre Okay, is in sad shape. In their minds everybody else in the world is Okay and way out ahead of them in the race. Collectively and individually each one believes themselves to be back so far in lifes steeple chase numbers hadnt been invented yet.
How this group works out the details of which ones are the worst Im not Okay has not yet been released. There was a rumor about some punches being thrown, but nothing verified as of this date.
There is very little to say in regads to the last pitiful group, except that they are the last pitiful group. We are soberly warned to stay far away from anyone falling into the last category, Im not Okay, Youre not Okay, unless they are in a cage with a hefty padlock on the door. Or, was that recommended for a certain group of politicians I heard about. But, noooo.
These few malcontents have settled on some remote and secret spot to fight out their differences even though we dont see that they have any. Whatever.
The ultimate victors in this ugly contest will win the triumph of being able to state, with authority, that they are the worst Im not Okay possible. At that time, they will also gain the right to tell the others they are not as not Okay as they think they are. Say what?
I burned the book shortly after reading it and never looked back.
© 2002 by Audrey Yeager. The caricature drawing of Audrey Yeager is © 2001 by Jim Hummel. The illustration is from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA.
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