Commonground

Why is it that everyone discusses the weather?

Ok, a few of us consider that a subject to avoid if possible because it is too common and cliche, however the reason everyone can discuss the weather is, it is common ground.

Alright, it is true that not everyone can commiserate about a Canadian Prairie Winter, but as an icebreaker how sunny, rainy, windy, gorgeous or hideous it is outside is an icebreaker (conversationally speaking).

It is beautiful outside, if you enjoy toasting in sun and sweating through humidity.

The weather is not the only common ground we have, it can’t be, but sometimes the way people act you would think that it is.

I have a lot of empathy, perhaps more than I should have but I am sure that I am not the only one to look out a window and think that people spend too much time seeing the differences, widening the gap between them and others without realizing that we have more common ground than just the weather.

Can a millionaire commiserate with me over not having money, food, clothes? Well with a few exceptions I am certain there must be a few that started out with little or nothing so ya, I think some can.

It is true, we spend so much time trying to excel at individuality that we forget those things that keeps everyone connected.

Lets face it, someone from Florida is not going to understand a Manitoba winter, heck some places do not even include block heaters as standard equipment on their vehicles as they are here.

So what other things keep us connected?

Hunger?

Romance?

Food?

Pets?

Hmmm depends on the person, we do not all share the same enthusiasms, loves or tolerances of other beings or things.

I am no better than anyone else.

I can not read minds.

So conversation and interaction are the venues which allow us to discover that common ground.

Maybe.

Whirlwind of Ridiculous

I wonder sometimes if the world spins solely because people choose to be contrary or simply difficult, and if everyone got along the planet would suddenly cease all movement, and gravity would go splat.

The ex wants to exchange houses with someone, there needs to be an electrical inspection done.

Simple right?

I thought so, I mean how difficult can letting someone in and having them check the sockets and light switches possibly be?

Welllllllllllllll, going by the theme of this post? VERY.

This was the 4th scheduled appointment.

The first one I waited, the bloke never showed up, the second one likewise, the third one was made but I was not informed so well that ended up being a non occasion which brings us to today.

I hate missing appointments, they are made for a reason, people make an effort to come to do something and we all hope they are on time because we have things to do with our days but guess what? So do they. So I kinda like to have things down sorted, done and dusted.

This in mind, I walk the dog prior to their arrival, expecting that they would not be early, and get the dog done so that there is no stress about her needing to use the washroom.

I am walking back to the house and I see the guys van outside and think, oh well he is early (looking at my watch it is 1201 and the schedule window is 1200 – 1400hrs. I wonder if one of the 2 other housemates that are in the house let him in – but as I walk by the van to go to the door, he is sitting in the van.

Ok, he was getting himself together and will come to the door in a minute.

I take the dog to the bedroom and shut her in, return downstairs and the fellow knocks, I open the door to let him in and he is saying he rescheduled.

Say what? I was 1 minute late?

The housemate that he had spoken to is on the stairs yelling that he needs to go into every room and he is not going into hers  or one of the others…colour me confused.

So I get the guy to stay, but he confirms he needs access to every room and bingo – it’s not possible if she won’t let him.

So the fellow leaves, I feel like a putz for that, the housemate is ranting at me because they should have been told (yes I agree but it was not up to me to do that, I figured the ex would inform everyone as they are family)  and after getting yelled at I finally call the ex at work and they get pissy with me as well.

Hold up, I did not set up this situation, nor did I mess it up.

I walked the dog, was back in time, let the person in…that was my responsibility.

After the fellow leaves, with my sincerest heart felt apologies, everyone is off in a huff, and I think would the world stop spinning on its axis if everything just went smoothly and everyone got along?

I think it might.

However, as it will never happen, I won’t find out.

The ex’s way of responding is apropos for them, they threaten to move out on May 1, so screw everyone.

The Art of Conversation

Politeness and manners are an indicator of both your upbringing and yourself.
Respect and trust are earned.
Bless those who read this with a truly wonderful and charming day.
Forgive not my intelligence or lack thereof, instead banter the thought rather than demean the thinker.
If you disagree, explain, this is how learning through communication works.
If you can not be polite, please be so kind as to withhold comment, I have no wish to see the flaws in others that I do not know and thus can not explain or forgive.

Threads of expectation.

Asking for something, will not guarantee you get it.

Telling about a problem or a hurt, will not solve it.

Communication is a tool, a means towards goals.

It is not the promise of a result, it does not enable the harvest, pick the fruit or heal the wounds.

It seems easier to keep it all inside, because to bring it up, even in whisper, is to acknowledge whatever it is.

When you speak, whisper, write or sign, communicate, share, divulge or acknowledge something, what is that little glimmer of expectation in the back of your mind?

Occasionally I do not even realize that it is there.

We all have expectations, some of us try not to, some forget and fall into that murky puddle headfirst.

Do not expect anything to get better because you have spoken, written, shared, asked or whatever to express it.

I know that I defeat myself by falling into that pothole, expectation.

Anticipation is more hopeful, a sliver of daring that there might be a possibility, a wish breathed almost unheard.

Anticipation can be good but not when it topples over the edge to being expected.

Expectation has the edge of being promised, intimated, or perhaps even a right, or being owed.  I have dared to illuminate thus I deserve…what?

Expecting certain responses, words, actions or resolutions is where our minds do us a disservice.

Christmas, does not mean you will get a day off, a present, a card, or even a kiss under the mistletoe.

Birthdays do not bring good things for sure, other than the fact that you woke up that morning.

Expectation can mislead, shade perception so that words spoken will be received a certain way, have a given result or even engender a particular feeling.

Expectation causes pain.

When your alone, thoughts whirling in your mind and no recipient within earshot, there is no expectation.

No embarrassment, shame or vulnerability…joy, happiness or positivity.

The words you speak, write, think are free of threads, connections, connotations and triggering responses from others. Because you are speaking to the solitude of self.

Your ears being the mirror to the echos of your voice.

When a child asks for a glass of water, they expect that wish to be fulfilled. The same child falls, gets hurt, depending on their environment, usually they expect someone to care, to take care of them and make them feel better.

When this child is told that they are going out somewhere, there can be an eager sense of anticipation, wonder and excitement.

They become giddy and happy.

Unless it is a negative thing, then you could find their expressions and manner to indicate dread, fear or resentment.

I have found it is a fault, weakness, to trip into the pit of expectation, to think that communication will improve or solve anything.

I confess that I have forgotten, like others, sometimes to acknowledge that communication should not carry with it the expectation that things will change, get better or even receive comment.

I must allow that if there is someone else involved, they may not hear you, understand or care…things may not improve, or even maintain, they may worsen.

Hope is the province of the optimist, not the realist.

Reality does not offer kindness towards the dreamer, the romantic or the emotional.

It does not answer expectation, or acknowledge it.

If you choose to communicate, expect nothing.

Except whatever feeling the act of communication releases whether it is peace, fear or acknowledged desperation.

However, hope is always an option, even when silence rules and you say nothing.

As long as you’re not gazing into the eyes of stark reality or nothingness.

Masks, Mirrors and Smokescreens.

A couple people have said to me recently that I have a bad or horrible story for every occasion.

The funny thing is, they don’t know 1/4 of it and when they say that I think, time to shut up.

Time to stop being me.

Who cares anyway?

Got me with that one actually.

I have a button in storage that says, “Who cares, why bother?”

So if no one cares, why say anything?

Silence is golden…yet another way of saying…shut up.

If we prize silence so much, why do we speak?

If keeping everything hidden is so important, why does anyone blog?

If silence is an indication of wisdom, we would all strive to be a race of mind readers, having our vocal cords removed.

Now there is a thought, increase productivity by removing vocal cords and handing everyone a keyboard with prepared options for communication.

How are you?

I am fine.

How may I help you?

~select from option list below~

For all the various in-numerous appreciations of stoicism, silence and bottling things up, each compliments the holder of the secret, observer of others and the benign being who orbits outside of interaction merely watching the masks flit across peoples faces.

Eyes that observe others avoiding the mirrors that would show themselves for the simple, reserved but ever so human being, just like everyone else.

If everyone was to keep things to themselves that would make another uncomfortable, sad, worry, upset, happy, glad, overjoyed or depressed, then the art of communication would cease to exist, and each of us would shrivel up within the boundaries of silence, which are proclaimed to be desired.

Human interaction would become a smokescreen, hiding real feelings, thoughts and opinion and worshiping the facade of the perfect, strong and wise.

When we all crumple to dust, what will be known of our true selves if we follow the strict precept of silence?

The next generation cares less for the things we think we should be embarrassed or ashamed of than we think, just as the previous one put more stock in certain modes of behaviour, the next will think hiding anything because it was not socially acceptable or P.C. at the time, silly.

I discovered when my mother and grandmother passed away, secrets that they never shared because societally speaking they were ashamed.

The views long ago changed but neither felt able to share things that they should have, because in their generations, such things were NOT spoken of.

My view of them has not changed, I understand the reticence to share…I am saddened that they felt thus because I value conversation, intimacy and interaction.

The expression of ones humanity.

No one needs to know all the things I have seen, pain I have felt or the horrors I have experienced.

The number of times I begged some unseen deity to not let something happen, fought to keep something from happening or felt the loss or disillusionment of failure…well the odds were against us but still we tried.

The joys, laughter, fun and glory.

If I follow the oft quoted ideals of silence and stoicism being the cornerstones of the wise and strong…there would be nothing more to say.

When you feel unable to communicate, you are being rendered invisible, unheeded and it will not pass away without emotion or that feeling of loss of self.

The wall has no ears, the dog will not tell anyone you spoke but neither will appreciate your words, learn from or laugh at what your sharing with them…and the wind.

I would sooner children learn to speak to their parents, siblings to each other and the gentle art of communication start to do some good, instead of bolstering a facade of alrightness that decrys the facts of the soul.

Just my views though.

Ferocity of Silence

You admire and respect someone, or group and support them, or perhaps something bad happens to someone you like, and as your heart goes out to them,  yet again you ponder the line up of people standing there offering condolences, platitudes and support.

As you sip your tea, the words you speak feel like vague mimicry to your ears, yet you really do care, it matters, and as you depart leaving the crowd to carry on, you feel bad that there was nothing more, better or significant you can do.

Am I quiet because I do not care?

No.

Do I step back to avoid the crowd because of indifference to the subject matter?

Definitely not.

I may not always say things the right way, and there are times when I may not say anything at all but that does not change who I am or the fact that I do not say things I do not believe or feel.

Why waste my breath?

Or ink for that matter.

Three times recently I have had negative, disparaging and rude comments directed at me.

I can not think of how I would be the catalyst for anger as usually nothing I say is directed negatively at other individuals or worth the time and adverse feeling to illicit such from strangers.

No one holds the corner on a belief.

No one decides if you are worthy (or not) of thinking, believing or supporting anything or one.

I have held my thoughts, beliefs and viewpoints for a long time, and while I may be quiet at times, because a roar of voices hardly needs mine to make it complete, it does not change what I think, or feel.  To me it is no fad or passing conversation piece, and no one has to convince me of what I already know.

However, I would point out that I conscientiously avoid bandwagons.

I do not have the desire to pretend to think something I do not, or to be nice to people I do not like, anymore than I would wish to attempt sleep in a tent full of mosquitoes. I figure they would all be as pleasant as the last.

I contemplated deleting my blogs and twitter, recently due to some things that were said to me of a particularly nasty nature, because I wondered if I really wanted to let that type of thing into my life.

As I watch the chorus of voices saying what I would, I do not feel that silence is an indicator of surrender, nor should it be taken as my caring less, it is just my general avoidance of crowds, chorus’ and bandwagons.

Sometimes when you are firm in your convictions there is no need to voice them while others scream about theirs, there will be time later to calmly share your views and maybe if the din is lessened someone will hear what you say a little clearer.

It is too easy to misread silence, unless you know the individual, you can not or perhaps should not be making assumptions about them, yet it is the easiest thing to do.

Silence can be a shelter for deep belief, apathy, negative perception, shyness or any number of other things…perhaps you should inquire or engage before forming your own perception…some of the best conversations begin this way.

 

 

Negative undercurrents.

It has happened to me a couple times recently where someone has said something which indicates a negative viewpoint about me and then not understanding my taking a step back and putting distance between myself and this veiled negativity that is really not deserved.

I am not the greatest proponent of my own positive qualities so if there was any merit at all in what was said, I would readily admit it, accept it and move on, actually knowing me, I would already have pointed it out.

Averse as I am to compliment myself in any way, shape or form.

However, if this is the view that they have of me, is there any wonder why you would take a few steps back, as we get enough negative from everyone else on the planet, do we really need it from people that claim to be friends?

In my view, no…I am quite content not to entangle myself with folks that desire to look down at me…it is nifty if you have a seat at the cool kids table, or a jumping off point right up on the Mountain above the rest of us…applaud all those that can attain such lofty perches.

I am not deluded into thinking that people that look down on me for whatever reason, are above doing it to anyone, or everyone else who push their buttons.

No accounting for some people’s hobbies.

There are ways of sharing thoughts with people, without putting them down, and we do not always do that, or we do not realize what we are doing from the other person’s viewpoint.

Unfounded, snide comments for no particular reason are not going to endear you or garner trust.

Mind you it will certainly allow superficial friendships to continue, barely maintained and with limited interaction only suited to the tolerance of the person who is on the lower perch.

I like to have people to admire, they are good and caring people, and they do not make it a habit to look down at people. What I have seen them do is reach down and help people up, without judgement or condemnation.  They consider themselves equals, not better and the positivity that they share is contagious.

I can think of a few Police Officers, a lady Pastor, and others, who inspire, share, encourage, understand and comfort.  They don’t look down because they view those about them as equals.

Viewpoints I hope to accomplish with as much humility and kindness as they display.