Apr 26, 2012

Control Yourself (pt duex)

There is measurable, if not always concise, difference between manners and consideration.
I care very little what fork you use or if you are wearing white shoes before labor day, or if you conjugate or wear too short a skirt to church. While these things can be indications of respect and consideration, they aren’t always. And while I like things to be pretty and things to go smoothly, these things do not consume my thoughts. Yes, I wish you'd call me Ms. and not Miss and Mrs, no, I won't take it personally when you don't.

In reality, I care far more about how often your behavior indicates that you like, care, and respect those in your presence.

Understand: I am, more than many, a big fan of disclosure and comfort. I like honesty. I like friends and family to treat each other with as an increasing level of transparency and leniency as intimacy is increased. I love it when my friend tells me to just grab a beer from their fridge and when we share that beer, I wish you'd just say what was really on your mind, even if it is weird, or strange, or less than appealing. I will always put a bra on when you visit, but I may not put on shoes. I like informality, in its place.

Glory be the moment when you see beneath the smile to the true matter.

That being said, there is a time and place for everything.
And there are times that I wish people truly considered how their behavior affects others.
What is that phrase… “one person’s freedom ends where another’s begins”?

I think the same could be said around comfort and expression.
Because it is all very well to express yourself, but if expressing yourself, be it through music, presentation, the cold freeze, or a gigantic screaming match in isle 4, means that others have to share your grief in a way that innapropriately increases their discomfort or misery, it strikes me that  you may have failed a key test of maturity and consideration.

Humans were built to share, but consider if your sharing is simply displacing discomfort.
Humans were built to express, but consider if your expression is making innocent bystanders sad, frustrated or confused.

 And the more sensitive you are the more you should be able to understand that others have feelings too…

And I know it is hard to remember, especially when in your own emotional upheaval, that your behaviors really do affect others. But it is important to remind yourself of this. Because the more they care, the more they can be moved.

 So, this isn’t about some outdated relic of decorum or rules you don't want to follow. It isn’t about putting on a mask to hide your true self and your beliefs. It is about consideration of others feelings.

Making another feel bad is not reasonable fall out for making yourself feel better, and disregarding another’s needs because you have your own is just selfish.
You wouldn't throw a bomb into a crowded preschool to protect yourself and you know better then to vent that gas into the room next door. Those people were having a nice day and that nothing to do with your shouting match until you came along. And they had every right to do so. Remember that.  And consider your aim.


jennifer anderson said...

but life would be boring if everybody behaved

daff0dil said...

and hurting another is certainly the most effective way to make it interesting?