…and your spit will land right back- splat! in your face. I believe the closest English equivalent of this graphic Farsi proverb is “cutting off your nose to spite your face”- but this has an unpleasant and unnecessary violence which the gentle, humorous Farsi version lacks.

Anyway, you get the point. Doing or saying something which only hurts yourself. Putting yourself in a situation, of your own free will, out of which you could extricate yourself at any moment you chose, and yet complaining incessantly about that situation.

I have discussed elsewhere how I am not a huge fan of the intense territoriality which afflicts so many of my family members – cutting through generations from my daughter to my sister and parents. That vivid belief that wherever they are is the best possible place to be and whatever they are doing is the best possible thing to do: their school is the best school, the city they are living in is the best and the manner in which they pass their days is the best and only possible way and anybody who doesn’t agree is a narrow-minded fool. However, it does bestow on them a joyous shining confidence that makes these people a exhilarating pleasure – fatiguing, perhaps, and annoying, to be sure, but they don’t drag you down.

The opposite is far worse. Those people who turn their faces upwards and spit. And my immediate circle here in Halifax seems to be infested with them. The general public myth about Halifax is that it is a great little city, and while unfriendly in the manner of these chilly northern people, there is a fair amount of interesting things to do and see. And yet, there is this diehard corp who hates the place, hates their school and/or, hates their colleagues, boss, prof and/or supervisor, and who generally hates where they are and what they are doing. Now that is a major pain to be around, and I find it hard to drum up any sympathy for the incessant moaning, for after all, these people are educated middle-class folks, and in fact, they only do what they want to do, and nobody forces them to do otherwise. For sure, there is a price to pay and a consequence for any decision we make, but there you go. If you came to Halifax, it was actually your own choice, if you immigrated to Canada, you filled in a thousand forms and paid a lot of money to do precisely that, if you are studying at Dalhousie, well, again you filled in a application form and signed it, explaining why you should. Nobody twisted your arm. And, you have the means, the resources, the connections, so change your life. It’s not easy, for sure, but it is your own life, your own seconds and minutes, how can you spend them in a place that is not where you want to be, doing something that is not what you want to do. Stop spitting in the sky.


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