In today’s society, we often act as our own worst critic. We have something to say about everything – the way people look or talk or smell or walk. It’s as if the whole world is a stage and we are the judges. Thanks to the glut of Reality TV, we now critique looks, talent, strength and even cooking ability.
But when an opinion is expressed about us or our behavior, we take it personally and feel the need to justify any negativity. We no longer have as thick a skin as we once did – or maybe we’re just so tired of hearing it all the time that we immediately go on the defensive.
At a certain age, people tend to believe that that, alone, allows them the freedom to express their anger or frustration because they’ve lived a long, hard life. Not so. In reality, what it does is allow us to see into our own futures and, hopefully, grant us the compassion to withhold that judgment and to acknowledge the gifts that all those years of living have bestowed!
Many days throughout the year are marked by some celebration or another. The major holidays are booming and even lesser ones are becoming Hallmark gold.
But what about those days – you know the ones – where nothing special happens and we’re lucky if we even remember them? Maybe the weather was bad or a game we wanted to watch wasn’t being televised and there was nothing else on TV but repeats… Don’t they matter, too?
Even on those unremarkable days, children are born, people die and life altering events happen halfway around the world. But we aren’t aware of any of it. We just go about our business until the next ‘big’ thing comes along.
So, next time you wake up and have breakfast and wonder what you’re going to do that day… just look at all the gorgeous colors outside your window. It costs you nothing, it (hopefully) puts a smile on your face and maybe even brightens up an otherwise ordinary (NOW seasonable) day.*
*Between one upcoming holiday and the next, casually pick a day (a Monday, for instance) and make it memorable. Go out and take some pictures; look up someone you’ve lost contact with; volunteer at a shelter (be it for humans or for our four-legged friends). Believe me… it’ll matter!
Everyone knows about the five second rule where food is concerned. Supposedly, if you drop food on the floor, it’s okay to still eat it or serve it if it’s been picked up within 5 seconds. I’m sure people with extreme OCD are silently cringing right about now but, for the vast majority of us, this rule is fairly acceptable.
So what else might it work for?
If someone doesn’t react ‘promptly’ when a light turns green, is it alright to blast your car horn at them?
If you have something important to say and someone holds up their finger indicating that they’ll be with you in a second, is it alright to start talking after you’ve checked your watch and five seconds have gone by?
If a waiter tells you he’ll be back in a second with the check and, after 10 or 15 minutes you still haven’t gotten it, is it alright to walk out without paying?
If someone is holding the elevator for another person (while carrying on a conversation with them) and you have places to go, is it alright to press the ‘close door’ button?
If you, yourself (“guilty”), have done any of these because you truly believe the five second rule is an appropriate measure of your patience level, then I say to you, “_________________________”*