▼The Woman in Black▼
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Taker-Watchers Rarely Bring Good Intent
MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2012 EDITION | VOLUME 4
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We saw the movie above based on Susan Hill's acclaimed book by the same title last week. And it turned out to be the most well-thought, acted and engaging horror film I've seen in a while.
Featuring Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White and starring Daniel Radcliffe who plays Arthur Kipps, a junior widowed lawyer, Kipps is assigned by his firm to a remote village to sort out the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow. Mrs. Alice Drablow, an “eccentric”, owned the Eel Marsh property, “the house in the marsh”. But what followed as Kipps went to work, got me thinking about takers and watchers by the end of the movie. You hear it in the trailer above:
During afternoon tea, there's a shift in the air.
A bone trembling chill, that tells you she's there.
There are those who believe, that the whole town is cursed.
But the house in the marsh, is by far the worst.
What she wants is unknown, but she always comes back.
The spectre of darkness, The Woman in Black.
In my July 2011 blog True Love, Ghosts & the Paranormal, I detailed one of three or so most powerful paranormal encounters I experienced as a boy, in Africa.
None of those encounters, though scary, harmed me.
But as an adult in the Internet Age and in the age of Google, the new dimension is strikingly similar to The Woman in Black. And hereinafter, I use woman for both genders as there are men with the exact same traits.
A Woman in Black is one that has a grievance. She sees herself as entitled. She thinks of herself as a victim. She watches, waits for any opportunity...pounces, kills (because that's what takers do)...and in the movie, terrorizes the village, its children and all comers she can afford to take on. And where she feels she can't do it alone, she/he enlists the services of other converts...in black...who see, plot, think and act with similarly dark motives.
A Giver-Lover is not only easy to identify but easy to pin down, if you like.
They have a long, ever-growing and ridiculously sickening footprint (or evidence) of acting without expectation by creating things, sharing things and even obsessively giving more.
They may not have a lot. But they sure do give a lot. And by give, I mean useful, positive sharing that visibly or verifiably enhances strangers, kin and clique alike. Nobody says they have to be perfect. And to look for imperfection in strangers or people who may choose to take principled approach to dealing with you, is a reflection of anger and/or misery within, if not reflective of adequate (civil) education.
The Woman in Black didn't care what the families and people of the justifiably “superstitious” and terrified village were going through. And such are the triadic traits of Narcissism, Psychopathy and Machiavellianism often seen in Taker-Watcher personalities. It's all about them and what they can get, or the vengeance they can exact.
She had lost a child. And she was going to do everything in her power to make others as miserable as possible by taking in the worst possible way others' sacred joy. And that reflects a life choice. Just as choosing to see the good in others is a life choice.
In this age of Social Media, voyeurism is easy. Destructive criticism is rampant. And you can always super-size the perceived faults of others by being a Taker-Watcher. But can you do the difficult? Can you be of value by effortlessly giving yourself, time and energy? By loving strangers? Because we all have that potential except as Professor Christensen rightly points out, it's the decision (or lack thereof) that turns otherwise good people (with the capacity to give, love, share, empathize and see the good in others) into Taker-Watchers.
So what happens? Someone spends hours, weeks or months cooking and baking an idea, inspiration, useful, transferable, globally accessible work of art and/or emotional experience. And what does the ingrate Taker-Watcher do covertly or overtly? They come along, and patronize them calling it copy paste, bad writing, bad grammar, too fancy, trash, too much color, etc. which is an errand and attitude and reaction reflecting deep unhappiness. So I teach and challenge myself with the opposite view: the Giver-Lover's approach.
We all have the power to covertly watch others go about the business. We can learn from them and seeing the value in what they do, feel grateful within, or express it...like any Giver-Lover does by habit. Or, like The Woman in Black who watches and waits to pounce, do one's dark deed(s).
We can admire, support, empower or happily, meekly emerge from the the woodwork and help those actively sharing and/or spreading positive vibes by smilingly, solemnly and genuinely asking the question: “How can I help? How can I be of service?” as these Tweeps did.
That's a very different attitude to the Taker-Watcher who is simply waiting for their target to make a mistake, say something that may or may not have anything to them so they can own it, misconstrue it and catastrophize it. The latter doesn't build confidence. It breeds insecurity.
Giver-Lover are ordinary people (often highly confident) with compelling stories, just like you. The only constant about them though is very often, once you peel the onion, you find a battle-scarred individual assiduously and relentlessly hard at work to build or rebuild their lives. And often leaning on hope.
Are you a Taker? Or a Giver.
One thing I do is run far away from self-centered people who show a direct or indirect disregard both for the hardship or difficult history/story of others less fortunate. Because without compassion and selflessness, one cannot understand anything in life except their own grievances. Or the misery, which needn't negatively or permanently define them, of the grief that comes from seeking to "possess" something or someone they eventually lose...or lost. Just like The Woman in Black. I'd much rather be a cheerful Giver-Lover.
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