Saturday, January 28, 2012

Single Handed

          One day this week I was walking into my work and I saw a glove lying in the parking lot. It was in a puddle right by the curb, near our front door. I carried the dripping garment inside and laid it out on a sink grate to dry. I didn't think too much about it.
          Obviously it belonged to a client so I figured she/he might come back looking for it. Later in the day I pointed it out to my boss, so everyone would know why there was a random soggy glove in our treatment area. He said he has seen it earlier and told my co-worker "The world needs more people like you". For some reason I got defensive "What do you mean by that?" He said, "Thoughtful in ways that other people aren't." Wow, what a wonderful compliment! I guess most people wouldn't reach into a puddle for a stranger's glove. If it was my glove and I'd figured out where I'd dropped it, I'd sure love to find out someone had rescued it and set it aside for me.
          I have a feeling no one will ever come looking for that lonely glove. But what if I'd thrown it away and then some little old lady showed up looking for it? I'm sure I'll hang on to it til spring, hoping an owner turns up but at least I feel better than if I'd ignored it and I've even learned a little something about myself!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Change Starts Here

I don’t consider myself a political person. More like, I like to keep myself informed of the goings on in the world, especially in my own country. But for some reason, I have found myself closely following the current GOP election. If I had to categorize myself, I’d say I lean toward the liberal side of things so this isn’t a group of candidates I’d typically be interested in. Still, I find the contest extremely interesting, maybe because this is such an atypical year.
The one major observation I’ve made is that people’s political opinions are mostly based on their life experience. How you were raised, the challenges you’ve faced, the services you’ve needed, those things all shape how you view the world and what your opinions of right and wrong are. I was raised by a single mother who received public assistance for a brief time therefore my opinions of the welfare system are not going to be the same as someone raised in a wealthy two parent household. What is good for one group of people is not necessarily good for another. Now that I’ve been watching politics more closely I’ve come to the question that I think many Americans ask: How in the heck does anything ever get done?
I’m not trying to spark a political debate here, and I really don’t think there’s a good answer to how you manage everything under one government. What I do find frustrating is how everyone thinks their way is the right way and there’s not any room for discussion or understanding of someone else’s experiences. It’s not really acceptable to strike up a political discussion with someone at work or the grocery store. I don’t understand the concept that someone might change the way they feel about me or treat me if they find out I have different opinions than they do. I think this is an opportunity for us to teach future generations to be open, tolerant and willing to compromise but we’re totally dropping the ball.
Earlier this week I posted a funny status to my FaceBook  (at least I thought it was funny) about a comment I had heard on the radio, someone saying they are voting for a specific candidate because “he looks like a president.” I didn’t expect much response but the comment triggered an exchange between a conservative friend and myself in which I deleted a comment he posted, which bothered him and then I had to explain myself. I just don’t think it’s okay to assume negative things about me because I vote for a candidate you don’t like or vice versa.  I have plenty of friends with different opinions than me and I think FaceBook is actually a great place to share your views and exchange information.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with all this. I guess I’m just frustrated with the current system and now sure what to do about it, just like a lot of other people are. But I think it can all come back to my basic belief that if each of us tries to be nice and tolerant and have open honest dialogue with each other, it might catch on!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Take It Easy

The first days of 2012 have been pretty uneventful for me. There’s been none of the immediate gratifying change I was hoping for. (I take that back, there’s definitely less clutter on my kitchen counters!) In fact, all this week I have felt sore, sick, tired and crabby. What a bummer. But I suppose that’s just the universe reminding me to take it easy on myself.
We do tend to be extra hard on ourselves, don’t we? I wonder why that is. Earlier this week I was told that the expectations I have for others and myself are generally too high. I’ve been told that before and I kind of get it but I don’t know how to change that. My biggest personal philosophy is to treat others the way I want to be treated but I often feel frustrated and disappointed when that doesn’t produce the desired results. It was suggested to me that perhaps I should treat others the way they  want to be treated instead but I’m not exactly sure what that means. Doesn’t everyone want to be treated with kindness and compassion, to receive friendly customer service and feel liked? And if not, why not?
As the title of this blog implies, I believe that if you are a nice person and you follow rules and treat people with respect, things will fall into place and you will reap the benefits. However, the world doesn’t always work that way and it upsets me because it seems like a straightforward concept. I know that by age 33 I should be able to deal with this better but there are still times when I struggle. It’s a good thing we are only five days into the New Year because already I am rethinking my resolutions.
Another thing that I believe strongly is that if the universe is trying to teach us something, that lesson will be presented over and over until we finally catch on. I have seen that happen in my life many times. I think I may be in the middle of one of those lessons right now, I’m just still trying to figure out exactly what it is.