One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces, a song by Ben Folds Five
For me, this song has quite a lot of meaning to it because for the longest time, I was the “angry dwarf”.
Back when I first heard this song, I sympathised with the main singer of the song. As a short person who was bullied a lot in school, I would dream of becoming the “angry dwarf” someday. Back then, nothing would make me happier than to imagine myself as a success in life while those who bullied me turned into failures of some sort just like in the sitcoms I watched on TV.
In a sense, I guess that that’s the dream of a lot of kids who are bullied in school.
What I hadn’t noticed in the song was that the “angry dwarf” was, in fact, a very bitter (and quite obviously angry) person. Altough he’s returned to the reunion a societal success, he’s not even remotely able to enjoy it. Instead of just letting his success speak for itself, he’s ranting at his classmates for their lack of attention. The “angry dwarf” is, in fact, someone so unable to let go of his grudge against his former classmates that he’s let proving himself to the world become an obsession. Heck, the guy can’t even let go of the silliest things like an 8-year-old classmate telling him that she’d rather not kiss him.
It goes without saying that when I eventually did become an “angry dwarf”, I wasn’t the least bit happy. I’d used the unhappy memories that I had about my former classmates and teachers as the fuel that drove me towards success. It felt good to imagine that someday, somehow, I would be able to turn on my bullies and laugh at them for being failures in life while I had become a wonderful success, but the truth of the matter was that these grudges were weighing me down. Every time I revisited these memories, I would remember the hurt that these classmates visited on me. The more I revisited them, the more bitter I became. By the time I came to Australia, I was so bitter about the whole situation, that I had stunted my ability to make new friends.
Nowadays, I regret treating everyone in my Australian school like an enemy. While there were a quite few naughty girls there, I think the majority of girls in that school meant well – I simply kept pushing them away because I was too angry to let them become my friends.
A few years ago, I realised how poisonous carrying this baggage around with me had been. I made a committment to God to put down the burden and really forgive my enemies for what they did. We were all only kids, after all. I’ve since stopped being the “angry dwarf”. I’d like to think that managed to put down the burden entirely and forgiven my enemies totally, but every now and then I’ll remember some petty thing and get angry and upset all over again.
With God’s guidance, I expect that it won’t be long before I’ll stop thinking about these things altogether.