Archives for posts with tag: consideration

Consideration is a funny notion. The idea that there is value in making a specific point of considering another person, other people, animals, children, the moment, the circumstances, the timing, the consequences, the lighting… all of the things… it’s complicated. What we choose to consider matters, and we often don’t seem to… consider that, too.

Consider a common enough commuter scenario; congestion, cars close together between intersections, blocking side streets, waiting for lights, pedestrians crossing in their turn, and someone in the oncoming lane, stopped with their left turn signal on, waiting for any chance to make their left turn – but the intersection is blocked by the car ahead of you. When the car ahead of you pulls forward, do you considerately remain stopped, allowing that left turn vehicle to turn left? If do you, did you also consider the cars waiting behind you, maybe for more than one cycle of lights, also eager to get home, also possibly waiting a long while, or faced with a time crunch of some kind? Did you consider, too, the car on the side street hoping to turn right, blocking most of that narrower street, maybe making it difficult for the left turn driver to make their turn efficiently? More delays. What about the cyclist coming up on your right, have you considered whether that left turn driver can safely make that turn – does the driver even see the cyclist? So many details, so many perspectives – it’s probably why we’ve made rules about rights of way, and order of operations (life, traffic, and math – all have their rules). Things may work ideally well in a particular sequence, or using a particular set of rules that, if everyone does it just that way, it all goes so smoothly. (When given a manual, tutorial, or opportunity to study the rules – for fuck’s sake, please do!)

I use traffic as an example because it’s hard to take it very personally, unless you’re in your car reading this right now – in which, omg, please do not do that. Not while you’re driving, anyway. Save it for later – literally nothing I write is worth dying over. Seriously. Nor worth taking a life carelessly. Just don’t. It’s terribly inconsiderate to drive distracted, anyway. So rude. So unsafe.

Life doesn’t create a lot of easy puzzles where consideration is concerned. I’m still figuring a lot of that stuff out, myself. Is there such a thing as “too much consideration”? What would that look like? Certainly, there is “consideration gone badly wrong” – we can so easily take actions based on the best possible intentions, truly noble compassionate and loving actions, and still cause terrible harm. I tend to think of consideration as also a possible solution for that particular problem, but we are each having our own experience – and like it or not (I don’t) it isn’t possible to be entirely right, entirely good, and also have nothing but beneficial (to all beings) outcomes of each of our actions and choices. Sooner or later, we’re likely to find that the good we thought we’d done turned out poorly for someone (maybe us) – or that something that experience suggests should have gone very badly indeed has some profoundly positive result… for someone else. It’s easiest to be sure after the action is completed, and the moment is a memory – that’s just not very helpful at decision-making time.

I don’t have any answers to this one. I do know that consideration – basic consideration, delivered in each interaction I have throughout each day that I can manage to remain sufficiently aware to do it has benefited greatly. I just don’t know the words to tell you how. I wish I did. Maybe if I were better at it myself? I’ll work on that. 🙂

In fact… I’ll begin again tomorrow. 😀

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.

So human.

This morning, I wrote, as I do, but to a dear friend, only. It met my own needs, and I considered no others this morning. Huh. Still human.

The other day, I got poked by a rose thorn, but thought nothing of it; roses have thorns, it’s a thing people know about. Today I am fussy and irritated by the discomfort of the thorn still lodged in the pad of my index finger, rather inconveniently precisely where my finger strikes the keys of my keyboard. I don’t actually do anything about the thorn, I just bitch about the discomfort. Still human.

I read the news, get caught up, feel annoyed with myself for wasting precious limited lifetime on media bullshit, again, knowing it messes with my head for hours, sometimes days. I sometimes do it anyway, even to the point of reading and rereading the same news, covered the same way, by nearly identical media outlets, multiple times…until I finally notice I’m learning nothing new, and don’t even actually care. Still human.

I make a cup of chamomile tea to enjoy as the evening winds down, and can’t quite enjoy it, either because it is still too hot to drink, or perhaps because now I don’t understand why I didn’t make coffee, which I’ve already had more than enough of today…but I don’t know which, and don’t move to change anything. Still human.

I distract myself from all of these things with thoughts of love, and loving, and feeling grateful to be so well-loved, and so thoroughly accepted – and then distract myself again with my disappointed recollection that my Traveling Partner still has not made it over to see my new place once… Which… well, he’s hundreds of miles away, and has only been within an hour’s driving time of this address for about 24 hours in the past 5 (6?) weeks, so it’s not really a realistic expectation. Still disappointed. Still human.

It’s a life. My life. It’s not the life I had 7 years ago. Hell, it’s not the life I had 3 years ago. It’s a pretty good life. I’m content – and this is true nearly all of my time, even moment-to-moment, generally. That’s… yeah, so much beyond what I could have hoped for a decade ago. Sure, it’s taken awhile, and I’m still so very human. Still have ups that are too far up. Still have downs that are scary far down. Still have many moments and emotions in between the extremes. It’s a life. My life. I’m very human.

Just one moment of many

Tomorrow, I’ll begin again.

The morning is gentle on my waking consciousness. I’m glad of that. The headache pounding away at my forebrain when I woke has dissipated. I’m glad of that as well. I notice, at the same time I notice my half-finished coffee has fully gone cold, I never opened the blinds (or the window) here in the studio when I opened up the windows to let in the fresh morning breezes. It strikes me as odd, until I also notice my latent noise sensitivity is quite a presence, in fact, and recognize that I had simply not opened the window, to dull the sound of the morning commuter traffic, which I definitely don’t care to hear.

Who am I today? Am I headache-y? Am I well-rested and merry? Am I irritable? I’m not actually certain. I may be all of those things at some point today. Right now, in spite of a leisurely shower, a good yoga sequence, and the fresh forested breezes on a summer morning, I remain rather groggy, somewhat irritable, and annoyed by my stuffy sinuses (which may have been the cause of the headache I’d awakened with). The more I focus on this experience, the more it intensifies, and the more irritable I become. Interesting. Sometimes mindfulness brings uncomfortable experiences into sharper focus.

I breathe. Relax. Pull my posture more comfortably erect as I sit at my desk. My eyes close, and without giving it further thought, my hands rest, quite still, on the edge of my keyboard. I breathe. Relax. My eyes closed. Feeling this space, this moment. My shoulders sink down until they are no longer crammed up against my damned ears. The sound of the traffic blends with my tinnitus. I breathe. Relax. Time passes.

Some time later, some 30 or so minutes, actually, my eyes open. I’m smiling. I needed that moment, I suppose. Just some meditation time, right where I sat, no further fuss or bother. Nothing to disturb me. I feel better than I did. More comfortably aware of the commonplace discomforts that are a thing. I am a mortal creature. This fragile vessel is not always an entirely comfortable thing. lol

The house is nicely cool now. It is sometime past day break. I still have time to water the container garden, do the dishes, make my bed – all the things I like to come home to at the end of the work day. It’s just me, right? So… I gotta do the things. 🙂 That’s pretty much how adulthood works generally; if I want a result, I must do the things. Shopping around for other human beings to do the things on my behalf isn’t nearly as efficient. Partnerships are not a form of indentured servitude, or long-term service, and I’d far rather count on mine for shared experiences I truly cannot have solo in life… sex, shared laughter, intimacy, exchanges of touch and emotion… all stuff I really love, too. How nice to share it! Not to imply that reciprocity with the housekeeping and whatnot isn’t valued – in my relationships it is both valued and required. Everybody eats? Drinks water, coffee, tea, whatever? Everybody showers? Sits on the furniture? Then everyone works to keep the place nice. It’s sort of obvious and non-negotiable. 😀

It’s still early. A good time to begin on the housekeeping. A good time to begin again, living and being, and becoming the person I most want to be.

I could go see fireworks tonight. I probably won’t. I’ll certainly have to listen to neighbors light firecrackers in the park until well-past midnight. Last night it only lasted until about 11 pm. I’m sure people just don’t think about the effect it has on others, or dogs, or cats, or wildlife. They’ve already rationalized away any specific risk of harm, so why would they be expected to consider their actions in the context of its impact on others? Well.. for starters, because that’s a thing. LOL Basic consideration – it’s one of my “Big 5” relationship values, personally. I don’t understand how people manage close relationships without it.

In most respects today is an ordinary day, aside from expecting a lot of bangs and booms later tonight. I’ll spend today boxing up more things, and staying cool. At some point I’ll return to the car to my Traveling Partner and enjoy his company for a little while.

Each day is a new opportunity to fill our hearts with light, and to live mindfully with purpose.

Will you be barbecuing? Heading to the local lake or swimming hole? Hosting some large gathering of family or friends? Visiting historical sites? Camping? Taking a road trip? Seeing fireworks is probably a given for most Americans… One thing, though – do you understand what you are celebrating, or is it just an excuse to party and blow shit up? I just thought I’d ask… Having a good time with your friends isn’t something that needs an excuse or justification. So… what makes this special to you? Is it just lighting sparklers and setting off firecrackers – because you don’t do that every day? Does the day have real conscious considered meaning to you? Maybe it should?

What are you celebrating?