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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Responses and Responsibility

Hey All - Hope we're all staying warm.

Like the title?  Wasn't thinking Jane Austen, but it just sort of happened.

To be honest, it's more than a little bit annoying to think that when someone else does something wrong to us, we still bear even a hint of responsibility.  Many times when people say this, it's because (a) they're the ones who did us wrong and they don't feel like owning it; (b) someone is trying to manipulate you; or (c) "they like to see you squirm."

When they're wrong, they're wrong, there's no denying that.  But that's not the end of the story.  Believe it or not, how we respond or react isn't exactly their fault.  They're not telling us what to say or how to say it - we are.

We need brevity.  As I've stated before, whatever negative emotion you're feeling about someone else must be felt for a short period of time.  It doesn't have to be only two seconds and then announce to everyone "It Doesn't Bother Meeee-eeeee" - that's just showing off.  But whether it's a few minutes or less than an hour, you must train yourself to stop it.  It's not helping you the longer it's there.  If you can't use it constructively, then you can't keep it around long.
    (1)  Can you do something about it?  Aim it that way, right now!!
    (2)  Can you not do something about it?  Get rid of it, right now!!

We need clarity.  We have to present a basic cost/benefit analysis as to whether the negative emotions are honestly worth it.  If they can't bring about a workable result, then turn them off.

We need faith.  We have to donate our hurt feelings, our grudges, our rage/fury/hatred and dislike of others up to the only One who can really judge them.  I wish I had a scorecard for you, as well as pie-charts and graphs to tell you how often it happens, but I don't.  Nevertheless, I've seen this Lady go to work and go to town on people who've done my wrong, and she's been known to pack a whallop on them.  So remember:

  • There's A Lady Named Karma.  She's not attracted to bad boys and She doesn't hang with mean girls.
  • She seeks justice and consequences in all things, especially when it can't happen due to others' misdeeds.
  • She has much better tools for vengeance at Her disposal, and She won't screw up the job the way you or I might.
That doesn't mean you just let things happen when you do have the opportunity to stop them.  There is a Father G-D above us who will remind us, "This is your job, not Mine."  But there is also a Mother G-SS who can handle everything that we can't.




Sunday, March 12, 2017

Less Blame, More Respect

Hey All!  Once again, the weather is messing with us, running hot and cold.

We live in a world with people who just aren't perfect.  They make mistakes, they don't think things through, they insult (sometimes with every intention of doing so), and sometimes they just give us reasons to dislike them.

Although it doesn't always seem like it, they are still human.  Flesh and blood, heart and soul, faces and names.  We don't have to pretend to like them when we don't, and it's wrong to pretend that they're our friends when they aren't.  We also don't have to turn a blind eye to our boundaries when they are violated.  But hating them is not the answer either.

There are times we have to be honest with them about why what they do is not acceptable to us.  And those times are limited.  There is no need to turn a statement into a rant or a lecture.  Not only would it be an in-your-face attack against them that might not be warranted, but spending more time than necessary disparaging them (a) doesn't change them; and (b) makes us worse.

As one of my influences, Dr. Isaiah Hankel, has said, it doesn't do us any good to pursue a confession from others.  Chances are better than likely that (a) the other folks already know what they did wrong, and don't feel the need to fall on their sword over it; or (b) they think they've done absolutely nothing wrong, and don't owe you anything.  All we're ever going to get out of these folks is (i) a half-assed confession; (ii) an excuse; or (iii) a counter-attack because it's just as easy for them to judge us as it is for us to judge them.  We don't need a confession if we already know what they did, and we don't have to argue for them to find themselves in the wrong if we already think they are.

Instead, it is better for us to simply understand that they either have reasons for what they do, or they're simply misinformed, and simply leave them as they are.  No, that does not mean we give them license to abuse us.  And no, that does not mean that we should give them unlimited free passes without taking actions necessary to protect ourselves.  What it does mean is that it's not our job to forever point fingers at them, demonizing them as undesirables and hating them as untouchables.  It simply doesn't help us to continue doing that.  There is far more strength of character to take only actions that are necessary, without demanding that they become more like us, and without any malice or hatred involved.

If we can remain unflappable around them, without letting them get under or skin, and without allowing them to tempt us into hating, judging, or demonizing them, we win.  Plain and simple.