Archives for posts with tag: be the good guy

It can be a bit of work, support loved ones through difficult times. I remind myself that the circumstances change, but the humanity remains; we need each other.

We don’t need a lot of complicated drama and bullshit – but being human, we also, sometimes, don’t recognize where our choices may lead, before we get there. Once we’re there, we may have been slowly inoculated over time to the point where although it is obvious to a great many other people, we don’t see what a mess we’re in – or what a mess we’re making – nor how it affects other valued relationships.

If that’s what you’re waking up to this morning, you have my sympathy. I’m sorry that’s the situation – an expression of pure regret, without any personal involvement. Drama sucks unless it’s on a stage (even then, sometimes it still manages to suck; not all performances are equal). Here’s something majorly cool, though; you have choices. Seriously.

…so many choices…

The path (and practice) of non-attachment is a huge win for fighting drama demons. There are verbs involved, of course. Choices. But the simple (seriously simple) choice not to engage the trolls in our social network is incredibly effective. The choice to let go of whatever we’re attached to that is being used against us can be a radical move in the direction of freedom. Although it feels incredibly costly, often we can more quickly and easily move on from a negative experience, or toxic relationship, if we can make peace with the perceived “losses” that result from doing so. Bonus; few things aggravate a hate-filled troll more than being of no consequence whatever. lol So… there’s that.

It’s easy to recommend. It’s harder to put into practice. We’re so easily baited. We’re so heavily invested. We’re so reluctant to be fully aware that our emotions show up for every appointment before our reasoning thinking mind can even find a parking space nearby. lol I said it. The balance between emotion and reason tends to rest on an understanding that emotion is more immediate, more reactive, and less easily argued with – even internally. We tend to “believe” our emotions, even in the face of contradicting data. It’s both a strength and a weakness.

On the other side of the equation, if you are invested in your righteous rage, and lashing out while justifying your shitty behavior with smug observations of how “right” you are… maybe… just maybe… You’re not actually the good guy in this little scene? Think that one over. If your decision-making is more about the effect the outcome will have on another person – most especially if that outcome is intended to be difficult, painful, awkward, challenging, or “deserved” – you are definitely not living up to any aspirations you may hold about being a good human being. Just saying. You can do better. Don’t be one of the bad guys. Yep, even if the person with whom you have developed this drama “deserves”… whatever you think you’re so right about. That’s your opinion, based firmly in the context of your personal narrative, most of which you made up in your head. Leave room to be human. To be wrong. To do better. To be the good guy.

Or not… It’s your call, I guess. I’m just saying, stooping to bad behavior merely because you feel hurt by someone else’s words or actions, is… fairly stupid and short-sighted, and generally also quite counter-productive.

Here’s a flower. Let that shit go. Begin again. 😉

There should always be time for beauty. 😉

 

The commute home tonight was rich with one of my least favorite things that is so common that it seems quite ubiquitous, perhaps even a default in our so very human behavior… a lack of basic consideration. Consider that, if you would, for a moment – consider the nature of consideration, and of “being considerate” – what does that even mean? Is the meaning quite literal, as in “to give consideration to a thing, person, moment, or choice”? To consider something? Is it more subtle? Certainly, consideration doesn’t seem very common.

Tonight I saw drivers pause as a light turned yellow, clearly positioned to note that the row of cars ahead had no room for an additional car to queue up – then choose to pull forward into the intersection, from a stop, and able to see that there was no additional room for another car, and continue to pull forward until they were stopped in the intersection. A four-way intersection with a signal light – filled with cars filled with people so lacking in consideration that the increased congestion during the commute, and the inconvenience to cross traffic, just wasn’t as important as pulling forward some 20 feet or so, to avoid waiting through the next light. Weird, right? No, uglier than that; inconsiderate.

I saw, also, drivers so anxious in traffic that they were driving at the extreme left or right edge of the lane, crossing over into (left side) the left turn lane or (right side) the bicycle lane, or right turn lane, and making it basically impossible to see further down the road (their own visibility was more important than being safe). Inconsiderate and unsafe.

I saw drivers commuting in full darkness without any tail lights at all. I saw them commuting without their headlights on. Dangerous. Definitely – but also really inconsiderate; any other driver affected would likely experience some additional stress. Rude. Thoughtless. Seriously? Driving in the dark without lights?

For a while, I was behind a transit bus driver clearly making it a committed point not to pull out of the traffic lane to make pick ups or drop off passengers. Instead, he just sort of angled the nose of the bus toward the curb, and in one case managed to impair two travel lanes, a bike lane, and a right turn lane – within a few feet of an intersection, which immediately filled with cars operated by drivers too inconsiderate to watch ahead of themselves far enough to recognize the congestion developing, and so filled up the intersection, impeding the cross traffic, too.

People crossing the street, in the dark, during rush hour, on a busy road, filled with inconsiderate angry drivers… crossing the street, but not on a cross walk, or at an intersection, just jaywalking right on across all 7 lanes (two travel lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, and right side bike/turn lanes in both directions) – wearing all black. What the fuck?? Seriously? That’s… wow. Yeah, I can’t see those pedestrians at all; I count on detecting the interruption in oncoming headlights to alert me of the jaywalking pedestrians. I wish they would consider wearing reflective clothing.

Each choice we make, in each moment of impatience, frustration, or hurry, affects every human being’s path we cross. Every dick move. Every bit of entitled bullshit. Every shortcut, every cheat, and every time we “break the rules” to convenience ourselves holds the potential to seriously fuck over someone else – and if you don’t care about their experience, well… that’s inconsiderate. Simply that; you are not considering them, or their experience, or even, in some cases, your own safety.

I’m not pointing any fingers. I have my moments. Being considerate is a really big deal for me, and I put a lot of work into it – I try to keep that set to maximum consideration full-time. Sometimes I miss. Sometimes I’m the inconsiderate jerk.

Tomorrow I get another chance to begin again, to be more considerate, to be more kind, to be more aware of the human beings around me, each having their own experience.

Frankly, the inauguration didn’t get my attention. I don’t give spoilt children, narcissists, or petulant adolescents my precious limited time on their terms. Call me a “whining liberal” if you need to do some name-calling, that’s on you, reflective of who you are and what your values are, not me or mine. 😉

I spent yesterday awed by the power and beauty of millions of women nationally and worldwide marching in protest of a president whose values do not represent them, and are actually a threat to women’s well-being and civil rights. It was… amazing. Yeah. Powerful. Peaceful. Wise. I was awestruck at the clarity of our shared voices. I was and am moved, empowered, and encouraged. Before I let it carry me away, I am also quite mindful that the tear-down begins today, in the many voices that oppose women every moment of every day, for no other reason than that we are women. Yes, well, we’re each having our own experience. There are always voices in opposition to change, regardless what good the change itself serves. At least for the moment, I am content and empowered and feeling strong in the face of future attempts to diminish me. It’s a nice feeling.

We share this world, this life, with so many other creatures...

We share this world, this life, with so many other creatures…

This morning, I’ve spent much of the morning bird-watching. I’ve had many visitors to the feeders today. Ducks. Canada geese. Squirrels. Jays. Even crows have stepped right up to the patio to enjoy the generous brunch laid out for their enjoyment. There are seed bells, and sunflower seeds, and assorted whole nutmeats strewn about, and peanuts in the shell aplenty, and a couple different suet blocks hanging here and there, one full of bugs and mealworms and such. A lavish brunch buffet on a Sunday morning. I share it with them over wilted greens, homemade applesauce, and hard-boiled eggs still warm from cooking, and a good cup of coffee.

It took awhile for them to trust me enough...

It took awhile for them to trust me enough…

I particularly enjoy watching the squirrels this morning. They have figured out the peanuts are on top of the bistro table, in the well of the soon-to-be-disassembled holiday wreath. The jays have known for a while, and regularly stop by to grab a peanut along their way. Today the squirrels also make their way to the table top, sorting through the peanuts quickly; peanuts with intact shells are carried off and buried. When they select a peanut with a shell that is broken, they finish the job, tearing it open and eating the peanuts within, while watching me curiously through the window. The jays are particular about the peanuts, too, although I don’t know what they are selecting for. They pick up several, before choosing and flying away with their chosen morsel.

A rare visitor returns this morning.

A rare visitor returns this morning, but I didn’t get a picture as good as this one from yesterday.

Today, littler birds favor the sunflower seeds strewn on the lawn with the bits and pieces of nut meats, and the fallen bits from the seed bells and suet feeders, rather than competing with the larger birds for a place at the feeders. The Northern Flickers zoom up to the suet feeder closest to the patio, striking it with enough force to send it spinning wildly. This seems their favored method, and since I’ve seen them do it quite differently now and then, and also repeat this interesting behavior seemingly willfully, I’ve come to accept that perhaps they just enjoy a good merry-go-round? lol They are fun to watch, and rather larger than my suet feeder was specifically intended to support. They don’t seem to mind that. 🙂

It's taken most of a year to get the crows to come close.

It’s taken most of a year to get the crows to come close.

Not one of these creatures has any idea what millions of human beings are doing with their time or why, aside from their daily observations of our coming and going… or so I have been taught to believe over a lifetime. I can’t say that I really know that for sure. I know that they come to my patio, accepting my generosity, and comfortable enough to linger and return regularly. I am content to be kind to my fellow creatures, whether they “understand” me or not; it’s part of who I am. When I began to understand that my fellow human beings are among “my fellow creatures” and began also extending my kindness and good nature to them, I was changed as a human being, in a wonderful way. I enjoy kindness extended to me. I appreciate it when people are compassionate. I am learning to deliver those experiences to others, by default, as a common byproduct of who I am, every day. I am transformed from the woman I was in my 20s – a fairly narrow-minded, right-leaning, callous-without-awareness, self-centered creature who was more cruel to herself even than to the world around her (and therefore thought she was treating others well, by comparison). It’s been a long, and fairly peculiar journey. I sometimes wonder if anyone who knows me – who knew me then – really knows me now at all?

A gentle phone call from my Traveling Partner reaches me as I finish my coffee. I finish the call feeling so very loved. The disturbing fun-house mirror of American politics seems very far away right now. I’m okay with that. I’m okay right now.

It’s a lovely morning. That’s enough.

I slept last night. It’s worth it to take a moment to really appreciate that, and let the experience seep into my consciousness fully as I wake. I needed a good night of unbroken restful sleep. Although it doesn’t actually ‘matter’, I’m even pleased that my hair didn’t do some weird thing in the night that must be addressed, resolved, or improved upon this morning; it’s just hair, a lovely brunette shade sprinkled with some grey. I’m drinking my espresso neat this morning, but whether that was a momentary time-saver or a whim at that earlier moment, I no longer recall. It’s a detail that also doesn’t ‘matter’.

All the news seems bad…people killing, being killed…governments that once stood proudly on values admitting to war crimes and violations against humanity without any particular contrition or attempt to make it right… people going hungry…people without a safe place to rest through the night…violence and privation, and a handful of very privileged people making time to attempt to justify or excuse it all. I avoid reading the news even now, skimming the headlines and making a point of knowing the basics of important global events, but refusing to become mired in the pain and sorrow and cruelty. I make a point of showing people compassion, consideration, and respect, and hope that my modest effort makes some small difference for someone, somewhere.

Love is my lighthouse.

Love is my lighthouse.

Last night was a lovely quiet one, spent watching anime with my traveling partner, and calling it a night early enough to get adequate rest. This morning leads into a moderately busy day, and I’ve made a point of organizing my thoughts, and my time, to make it all work out – and then I’ve also granted myself the further courtesy of being prepared to roll with the changes life sometimes throws my way. It’s a Wednesday, and one that seems to begin well. I am content with that.

As scary as The World can be, and as frightening and unsettling as the events both near and far can seem, this moment right here, right now, is quite serene and quiet. I find satisfaction in enjoying this small moment, and its quiet beauty and stillness. I savor it, breathing deeply, feeling calm, and knowing that this ‘now’ moment is mine to keep for as long as moments last, and on into the future of memory, if I take the time to affix it there. “Taking in the good” is among the simplest practices I’ve taken on, and it is powerful. Once I understood how much time I spent lingering on negative experiences cognitively, it made so much sense that doing the same with good experiences would improve the emotional characteristics of my implicit memory; in practice, it works just that way. The more time I spend on negative experiences, and immersed in negative emotions, the more the implicit qualities of my human experience overall take on negative characteristics, and quite logically the same is true if I spend more time on positive emotions and experiences. I do like enjoying a more positive experience, more pleasant interactions, and a tendency to make positive assumptions, more than negative ones.

My traveling partner puts my writing on pause with a lovely greeting. Connection… isn’t that what matters most? I think I’ll go find out.

Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to be the best of who I am, and to share that with the world. Today is a good day to be kind, and to be considerate. Today is a good day to change the world.