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Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Revelations

I spent Thanksgiving with my parents, drank with an old friend, and shared the joy with someone on my return.

I experienced an awakening of sorts - or more like a gentle reminder of what should already be known.

(1).  You don't need anyone's permission to relax.

If we're self-actualized, we have responsibilities.  If we have responsibilities, we need to think about them.  But not all the time!  We can't resolve issues with people who are not even in the room.

Give it a rest sometimes.  Pretend your brain has the same Settings app that the iPhone does and turn the wifi off when there's nothing you can do at the moment.

To continue with the previous post, you can also disable the annoyances and daydreams that pop up on your internal newsfeed.  For real, it works!  It really is possible to temporarily acknowledge that something is unpleasant or irritating without losing your temper.  The amount of tolerance is up to you, since nobody's a saint.  But not every annoyance requires attack mode.  Some of them you can simply deal with at no cost, without getting angry, and ruining your own time. You really can deal with them calmly, or maybe even not deal with them.

(2).  The better you focus, the less you worry.

Part of the reason we get sleepless nights is that we need to be more productive when we're awake.  There's less of a reason to worry when you take care of things sooner rather than later.

(3).  You really can be honest with people and still be nice.

Decades ago, I knew people who delighted in insulting and degrading people, and always said "I'm only being honest" as a permanent get-out-of-jail card.  It still amazes me how people like this are able to recruit so many followers, but they still did.  

I would never advocate their brand of "honesty," but there are times when fawning over some Emperor's new clothes is just as bad as doing their deeds.  There are far too many people who have no concept of respecting others, but have still not received consequences for their actions.  I have a name for those people, and you all know what that is.  :)

Like I said above, not every annoyance is a fight.  But when dealing with people who just never learned how to behave, there's nothing wrong with patiently educating them, as someone else failed to, what behavior is more acceptable.  You don't need to be confrontational.  You just need to explain why the behavior is not acceptable, and why it needs to change.

This is where some of my critics attack me - they think might makes right, and that anyone who doesn't follow their approach is weak or effeminate.  If I lived in a comic book/RPG fantasy world, and was taught that physical intimidation is the only way to deal with people, I'd agree.  But I can't.  Might makes right can be seen all over the news and YouTube, and I'm not impressed.

We are Bold and Bulletproof, but we're still Betas.  We don't have hair trigger tempers.  We don't need to impress people every minute.  We just need to amaze ourselves, that's all.

With the right amount of respect, it's perfectly ok to be tactfully honest with others.  There is no need to assume that every situation is the worst case scenario.  Later posts will deal with situations that escalate.  But since we're not trapped in a Call Of Duty video game, the likelihood of that happening is rather slim.  Sometimes a polite explanation really does work wonders.

I consider the above to be revelations because, although they arise out of common sense, they're very easy to forget.  I remembered them, and I'm thankful.

Happy Holidays!