1/2/08

And I Think To Myself

The past month or so, I've been doing a lot of reflecting.
And as many of you are probably doing, I am reflecting on the year, my conduct and progress or lack thereof in 2007, etc.

I'm of the mindset that resolutions are pretty lame.
In fact, as I was watching the Today show this morning, I began getting just a tad bit annoyed.
I began thinking about this cycle of unrealistic expectations and inevitable let-downs.
The pieces of spirit that can become broken and left to feel like a failure because
perhaps it didn't quite shave the body down to some ridiculous notion of what beauty or proper weight should be.
Maybe having a cluttered home really is the sign of a happy home and not having a closet that looks like it was ripped out of Posh's house isn't the sign of a failure.
Maybe driving a Honda or a Hyundai rather than a BMW or a Bentley is OK.
I don't know. I mean, there is more than one way up the mountain. I just think resolutions are a set-up for failure and shouldn't we be doing something to feel better about ourselves and each other?

As I've been reflecting on the past year and such, I was thinking about simplicity.
How it is the teeniest of acts that really do start a movement.
Whether that movement be within society or simply within someone else's heart.
That in one way or another we all have the capacity to do this, we just try to make it seem so hard as a way to justify being asses to each other.
An experience I had the other day, finally made the lightbulb go on.

You all know, that have been reading for a time, that I truly try to make it a point to let others know I care. Sometimes it is misconstrued, sometimes it is seen for what it is.
Sometimes I care so much that I become immobilized. It's almost more than I can bear to do or to speak. I become so overwhelmed, so full.

Anyway, I've noticed that opportunities have not presented themselves in "grand" ways for me to extend my hand.
And in fact, I had become quite irritated because I thought I had fallen off the giving train.
That people were not being sent my way for a reason (if that makes any sense).
And the giving of myself feels better.
It feels awful when I am not.

I've been making it a point lately to look directly at people when I am out walking.
And not only that
but to smile at them.
Possibly even say "hello" or "good morning".
Whatever feeling presents itself is what I will do.
(this paragraph makes me sound like a grump. i keep picturing in my head old man Potter from It's A Wonderful Life. I truly don't believe I walked around like that before. I just went about my business like a million other worker ants.
So I've been making this effort, which brings me to the point.....are you shocked that there was one?)

I was on the phone with my academic institution to ask a question the other day. A lady was assisting me with my question and was most helpful. As the call ended, I simply said to her Have a good day.
Pretty innocent. Pretty pedestrian.
I didn't say to her I have the address and phone number to Beckham's house. He's waiting for your call.
I didn't say Oh, I happen to have this extra $1M sitting in my back pocket. Want it?
I simply said Have a good day.
And there was a reaction.
A reaction of shock.
A reaction of pleasant surprise at such an utterance.
(Now listen, I'm not claiming to be this wonderful, always do-gooder.
I know this tale of human interaction is one that could be told a thousand times a day by a thousand other writers who could write it in a more brilliant way. I am simply sharing this experience and the shock of it with you. Sharing it from me, Mrs. Incredible (Tabba) to you, lovely reader.)

I hung up the phone feeling glad that she got off the phone with me in such a way.
And a little sad too.

Sad because it sounded as if she had never heard it before.
How is it that we are so 'busy', so clinical with each other?

I am hopeful though.
Hopeful that things will get better.
Hopeful that maybe if we all could take these resolutions and maybe cram them up - er, that's not nice, T.
(try again)
OK.
Hopeful that maybe rather than worry about driving a car that costs as much as it would to feed a small nation or injecting foreign materials into our faces, or hell worrying about the pile of papers that cram your credenza, desk, and sock drawer
we could just take the time to say
Have a good day.
And smile.
Maybe say hello or good morning.

It sounds idealistic.
I know.
But it makes a difference.

10 ripples in the pond:

thailandchani said...

Yes, it does make a difference. It all makes a difference.

I'm reminded of something, an offhanded comment, made to me many years ago.

"We all do the work our own way."

I would extend that to "and it all has equal value."

flutter said...

It does make a difference, doesn't it?

alejna said...

Yes! I so agree. The little things really do matter. I also try to be friendly and courteous. (And I feel ashamed when crankiness gets the better of me, as I know that it works both ways.)

I'm glad you've shared these reflections!

Joker The Lurcher said...

i try to do this too - on the basis that my smile might be the only one a person sees that day. making little differences adds up to big ones. so glad you are back writing.

deb said...

It does make a difference and every little bit of kindness adds up.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Whenever someone is really polite and friendly to me, I notice, and it cheers me up. I also try to be polite and friendly to others...it does make a difference.

That's a good resolution, to be more friendly and polite in our interactions. I'm in.

Magpie said...

Happy New Year, dear. And, yes, it makes a difference.

Becc said...

I agree. I try to do this daily, in fact, all day long and the responses are overwhelmingly positive. People want to be seen. Sometimes the crumpiest looking person I speak to has the most amazing smile and light in their eye.

It's wonderful!

It seems many of us are on the same page, once again.

carrie said...

I know. And I've found myself in a state of shock that someone found it so profound and generous that I either a) took their shopping cart as I was going in which is totally self-serving because then I get a warm cart AND help someone at the same time, or b) told someone to have a nice day.

It's sad that these things are so rare that they are even noticed at all.

You are so not alone in thinking this Tabba.

Aliki2006 said...

I was so happy to click over to your blog and find that you're back!

Yes, it's the little things--I have always believed that.