Saturday, June 20, 2015

Social Etiquette - Yes, I'm talking to you

There are a lot of "heavy" topics in the news as of late, so before I address those I thought I would discuss a lighter topic. This might be a little bit of a rant.

Oh where, oh where do I begin? I'm sure someone will get offended, but you know what? This is some tough love. People are 'getting away' with these behaviors because we, as a society, let them slide by. It's not right, it is not ok. Am I the only one who thinks this? (Rhetorical). lol.

Starting off with the super duper basics of MANNERS and progress from there:

  • If there is someone behind you closely, push/hold the door for them. The whole sliding through when I am one step behind is the epitome of RUDE
  • Get off your phone!!! In the checkout, with the cashier; on a shuttle bus to the airport for all of 5 minutes; in the elevator. You are not that important. Unless it is a dire emergency - and judging by the conversations I have heard, it is not; do everyone a courtesy and just WAIT. Wait the 5 minutes it will take you to not be in a public space.
  • Stop Replying ALL on every email. Do all 50 people really need to know that you will not make it? It's just cluttering up EVERYONE's inbox.
  • If you don't CARE how I'm doing then don't ask me. Saying "Hi, how are you?" has just become a phrase. Just say hi. I will not be offended. Because when I answer the 'how are you?' and you are down the hallway, that is pretty OFFENSIVE.
  • Look people in the eye. Acknowledge their existence. Stop looking at your watch like you have better places to be. If you did, you'd be there. The constant reminder that the world revolves around you and everyone in your path is less important doesn't seem a LITTLE selfish to you? When did we become these little self-absorbed beings? (#Selfie did not help)
  • If you don't want to go somewhere or do something then just say "No." This idea that if you just ignore it, it will go away, is sooo mean. Someone took the time to invite you somewhere. They need a headcount for the food and logistics. You can't even reply to let them know you aren't interested? Even a maybe is better than nothing. Or that guy you broke up with 3 weeks ago but didn't tell him, hoping he would just 'figure it out' - that's mean. Yes, it gets you out of an awkward conversation, but you are just running from ever having to deliver bad news. And you are being more mean by having people guess than telling them.
  • Stop friend requesting people you don't even like. If you never talked to me in high school, nor tried to contact me the 10 years afterwards, don't friend me when I become famous or you bump into me in the street. Who cares about the numbers? If you don't actually want to catch up every now and then and the thought of having to talk to them on the phone makes you cringe, why, oh why, would you want to be their 'friend'?
  • Smokers - you have ALL of outside. Why must you be near the door? There are people who are actually bothered by smoke. Wouldn't it just be easier to move 5 feet to the left?
  • The whole point of earphones is so that the listener can listen without disturbing their surroundings. I don't want to hear your music on the bus/plane/train/sidewalk. Turn it down!
  • Stop tailgating cars in the rain/snow/ice/sleet/everyday. It doesn't make sense. Go around. If you are that close and something happens you will collide. And riding me will not make me want to go any faster, especially when you have the option to go around.
  • Text language is for texting, not for outside the phone. Write out the word 'you' and please use the correct form of their, there, or they're when talking to me. It is not "dorky" to speak grammatically correct.
  • When a new person enters the conversation, open up the circle. Don't put your back to people. Don't use that opportunity to discuss all of your inside jokes.
I'm sure there are plenty of other things that we have backwards, but those were the main ones. And while it may seem silly to care if sum1 writes lik dis all the time bc dats how they txt, it speaks volumes about what they are going to consider acceptable. That person later becomes the head of a school or school district and doesn't enforce some of the English curriculum because it's just not that big a deal. Kids graduate from schools with a limited understanding of their first language. It affects how their resume looks. It affects the jobs and schools they will be able to attend. The details do matter. 

It's really not about following a bunch of rules. It's about consideration. If someone teaches their kid to respect their elders, there is no way that kid would knock over grandpa to steal his wallet or phone. Something as simple as offering your chair to a pregnant lady or an elderly person shows consideration. It shows that you have a soft heart and you care about others. I see these high school kids out and about not doing that. And that worries me. I see the makings of self-absorbed nation, where nothing matters outside of their circle. That group will not make laws and will not fight for change that has nothing to do with them. Already we see the Democrats and Republicans fighting just because they are different parties, and not even caring to push differences aside and pass the laws that will benefit the nation. It only gets worse if we don't start reteaching these manners that most of us grew up with. 

And while this started out as a rant, it's really an action plan. This is something tangible you and I can do. Because the activities that we see going on today - explicit racism, corruption, terrorism, violence, lying, political deadlock - they did not happen overnight. At the very least, we can try to leave this place better off than when we were here.

Teach Consideration. Be a role model. Make a Difference (in the long run).

Leave comments about social etiquette concerns or how to impact the generations to come. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Make a Dent!

What is the catalyst of change?

It's the silliest thought to think, because it's so obvious: if you want to change, you must something different. And change refers to changing an outcome, as well as a behavior. But doing something different is a lot harder than you think.

We often say that we want to get back in shape. So we buy a gym membership, because CLEARLY, spending money on something will increase the value in doing it and you'll become super duper fit. FALSE. In fact, they make memberships so cheap because they are banking on the fact that you will not come, nor will you cancel because you constantly tell yourself you will go, and you end up paying for state-of-the-art equipment for a bunch of people you don't even know. So while you may think that you had done something different, it wasn't a big enough dent. All you did was sign up for yet another automatic billing session. You haven't made a change that affects you or the way you deal with your day. You hadn't changed your BEHAVIOR.

Another example is meeting people. How many times have you heard (or said) that you keep meeting the same type of people? I love to dance. But just because I switch from Salsa to Swing, didn't really change my behavior. It just changed the music and venue, but generally dancers have a hidden connection, no matter the genre.

The point being is that we need to mix it up. I have moved several times in the last 10 years, and at least 5 of the moves I was in a new city and I didn't know anyone. This move I'm really trying to try a whole bunch of DIFFERENT things to find exactly what I am looking for. And it's challenging because things you thought were different, end up not being. We are habits of creature and sometimes our attempts at being weird and sticking out are so predictable, we get the same result in various locations.

I don't want to be average. I want to make a dent in the world! And so my method of making a dent is by trying a whole bunch of things and then picking a few to figure out where my skills and passion intersect.

And I hope this blog is your catalyst for dent-making. If you feel like you are in a rut and don't know how to stir things up, make a DENT. Do something  completely opposite from what you are doing now (positive, of course). Here are some interesting things to try, that can be your drastic (or not so drastic) change:
  1. Learn to play an instrument
  2. Read a book
  3. Listen to an audiobook
  4. Attend a concert
  5. Cut your hair
  6. Grow your hair long
  7. Pray/attend organized religious event
  8. Turn off the tv
  9. Turn up the radio
  10. Sing
  11. Learn a language
  12. Dance (hip hop AND country, ballet AND tap, Salsa AND Swing)
  13. Unplug for a week
  14. Read a comic
  15. Play a sport
  16. Watch a sport
  17. Adopt an animal
  18. Write a journal entry
  19. Netflix documentaries
  20. Read the news
  21. Befriend someone older than your parents
  22. Mentor a middle or high school student
  23. Live in a different country for an extended amount of time
  24. Find a pen pal who lives in jail or is serving in the military abroad
  25. Give money to a charity anonymously