Try to be more like Switzerland

 

Some days it seems like everyone has a "side" and everyone believes his/her side is the 'right' side.  The smallest consequence of this leads to a lot of un-necessary rudeness, at the worst, down right fights, and wars. In the middle of all this people exclaim like "they are just being honest" and "it's just how I feel" 

What happens next? - we get a world wide pandemic - a crisis that forces everyone to put aside their differences and work together.

In a not so recent Lifehacker podcast episode (How to Deal with Rude People), I loved the way comedian Danny Wallace put it... if you are speaking out and telling yourself that "You are just saying what everyone else is thinking" - if that is your excuse for being rude, perhaps take a minute and ask why it is that those who are thinking it have made the choice, to keep it just as a thought, and not speak it out loud. ?


Commitment vs Being Committed

Many people will tell you commitment is important, I for one, believe it is particularly  important to honor your commitments, but it is equality important not to rush to take a side, or jump to an extreme position on a given topic or belief.

As we go through life and gain "experience" we learn about the world and form opinions on a wide variety of topics, as we get older we tend to let those beliefs become so 'ingrained in us that we forget or shutdown the 'other side of the coin' that we even mistake 'fact' for 'opinion'.  It is courageous to protest for social injustice - but - it is problematic to push your fight for equality in a way that reduces the freedom of another, while the former is commitment the latter can get you committed, perhaps even to jail.

Confidence vs Rudeness

It would seem at first glance it would be easy to see the difference between being confident and being rude, but in fact in many cases a person can get away with being 'rude' if they speak with confidence. They may in fact even get rewarded for it. Confidence is your ability to stand up for yourself, your beliefs and not be afraid to speak up and articulate a fact or an opinion.  However, this does not mean you get to step over others, put down the other opinion, or call out names and accusations. Confidence becomes Rudeness when your 'certainty' prevents you from feeling and expressing empathy.

Being Rights vs Being Happy

Would you like it if someone were rude to you ? If you heard your own words being directed at you, how would you feel? It is so easy to get tied up in our own beliefs, we fail to take the time to look at it from the others point of view. We get ourselves wrapped up in 'should's and 'musts', and 'if only' We may tend to believe their is only "one right" solution, when in fact their are many "right" solutions if we are willing to take the time to explore, if we are willing to seek out a WIN-WIN for everyone. This requires empathy, it requires putting ourselves in a neutral position, at least temporarily so that we can evaluate the situation from all sides before taking action.  Again, in Mr Wallace's book he proposes a very simple and comedic  'role play'

Copyright - Danny Wallace


Real Life vs Reality TV

When I was younger, prior to the age of 'reality TV', TV wasn't "real".  A young family living in New York City working at a diner magically could afford a luxury apartment or whatever problem the 'Huxtable's', 'Seavers' or 'Keaton's' had could be solved within 30-60 minutes.

But that was the point! - Not to mimic the real world but to create a vision of what life could be like if we treated each other with respect, showed empathy for others point of views, and worked together as a team to solve problems while at the same time  standing up for what we believe in.

Real life is 'messy' and reality TV shows us that, people have real problems that cannot be solved in 30 minutes, people are rude to one another, and impolite (and sometimes downright horrible) things. But that doesn't mean it is 'acceptable behavior' any more then living in a $5000/mo apartment in Manhattan making $10/hr is 'reality'

Being Better, Growing together as a civilization requires work, Empathy is a practice, being rude does not require work it is simply an expulsion of feelings aimed at another person. Sometimes we will fall down and make mistakes, but then we get up brush ourselves off and try again.

The choice is up to you - We are all in this together.




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