I have been on a mission to embrace the positive, and make 2011 a good year. And maybe that's why I'm noticing the annoying little negativities even more...and I am trying hard to rail against them! I keep thinking of that term 'Kill them with Kindness' so that when I come across people and situations that trouble me, my smile gets even wider. Though if you have been reading my blog from the beginning (and if you remember the pool incident,) you'll know I often fail. I'll give you another example...the other day I was leaving work, and there was a couple walking into the building. There are two glass doors to walk through at the main entrance, and the woman was holding the outer door for her husband who was struggling to carry a heavy clock. (There is an office that appraises antiques in the building, so I assumed that's where they were headed.) Trying to be helpful, I held the inner door for them so they could walk through easier. The man carried through his heavy burden, and his wife soon followed behind...all without a thank you; not even a glance in my direction. So did I screw a giant smile on my face and go on my merry way?? No, afraid not...I yelled "YOU'RE WELCOME!" and went on my merry way. What has happened to manners? Can someone help me find the manners, please??!
I call this post 'Truth and Responsibility' which is pretty strong, when you compare it to something as simple as people forgetting to say "Thank you." Though those little moments add up, and it can be pretty difficult to deal with a day FULL of them. I've had days like that lately, and I find myself locked inside night after night, watching repeats of Little House on the Prairie...yes, I know. I've mentioned my nerdiness before, haven't I? But I can't help it--I find it comforting to watch people who display things like gratefulness for what they have in life, appreciation for the little things, love for each other...and just plain 'good manners.' I guess when I say responsibility, I mean for oneself. Instead of walking around with the attitude that life owes you something, see those daily gifts for what they are. Be grateful to the person behind the counter, when they're taking the time to help you. Show some respect for the very earth we are fortunate to live on, and put your own trash where it belongs. If and when you make a mistake, however small, own up to it and be honest...we all make mistakes--we're human. Placing the blame on others and creating excuses to explain away your own misjudgements takes WAY too much effort! And when you give your word, stick to it. In the end, people won't remember you for your possessions, or the way you dressed...or your tremendous texting skills. They will remember you for your honesty, or lack thereof! And for Pete's sake...when someone takes the time to throw you a random act of kindness (like holding the door for you,) show your appreciation and say "Thank you." A little smile wouldn't hurt, either!
Most of all, be truthful to yourself and others...if you can't be counted on when the chips are down, don't lead people to believe otherwise. When things are at their most serious, it's good to know who's shoulder you can cry on and who's house you can call in the middle of the night. And if you are lucky to have family and friends who fall into those categories, appreciate how lucky you are and be grateful...I have both, and believe me--I am blessed! My sister recently sent me an e-mail which talked about the topics I have mentioned in this post, and I won't share the entire thing...I'll just share the poem at the end. It's worth repeating!
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
So be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.
Wow...I couldn't have said it better myself! Just think what the world would be like if these positive things were planted, just like Charles Ingalls planted his crops so many years ago. Just visualize a place where you could experience good old-fashioned values without having to watch reruns on television...where a person could be taken at their word, because it was their bond--even more precious than money. If we all start now, and make a real effort to practice these simple little things: truth, honesty, responsibility and respect, just imagine where we will be!!