The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE FIFTY FIVE: Thomas Paine Had Pages Of It…
The following is not just a blog post but is also a vehicle for a vent session.
As a lot of these blog posts go, I downplay my talents. I feel I don’t do a whole lot of things well and the things I might do well, I feel I just get lucky with most of those.
There is one thing I believe I was born with in abundance.
It’s common sense.
I think not only was I born with my fair share, I was born with a few other people’s shares, too. And I have developed it into a finely sharpened edge as I have got older.
I have thought about how I might have done it and it comes down to one of the pro/cons that I have, the need to want to plan out everything. I must be prepared at all times for as many possibilities as I can think of.
Like I said time and time again, it is a blessing and a curse at the same time.
With that mindset, it has given me loads of common sense. I’m not saying that I have had lulls in correct choices. I mean, nobody is perfect. But I have huge amounts.
Take for instance, my driving abilities compared to most others. I plan ahead and get in the proper lane well before it’s time to turn. Not many others do that.
I do NOT use the phone while my car is in motion. Never. I see many, many, MANY people on their phones, either talking to somebody or texting.
And they drive that way. Swerving, speeding up and slowing down, not using turn signals when they need to alert others that they are turning.
It goes on and on.
And the saddest thing, there are drivers who do all of these things…AND THEY ARE NOT ON THE PHONE!!!!
OK, you get the point with the driving.
How about grocery stores?
The best thing to do is treat the aisles like roads. Since I’m in the United States, I’ll use U.S. traffic laws. Keep yourself and/or your cart in the right hand lane, plan your route, look around before cutting across the aisle, don’t park your stupid cart in other people’s way and don’t stop in the middle of the aisle to think about what you missed or anything else. If you forgot something, just pull off to the side and think about it.
And don’t talk on your phone while you’re trying to shop. You are just as much of a nuisance behind the handle of a cart as you are behind the wheel of you car.
Those are just two places where more common sense would come in very handy and keep you from getting dirty looks, the finger, or a punch in the nose.
And it’s not just one gender that does it the most. It’s anybody who doesn’t respect other people around them.
And if you make a mistake, you cut somebody off, you get in their way because you didn’t look first…then say you’re sorry. Don’t pretend you didn’t see them by having that look of keeping your head straight ahead and your head tilted back just a little. We KNOW you saw us and instead of eating a bit of humble pie, you decided to eat jerk cake. Just wave, mouth ‘sorry’, and risk a dirty look or the bird or the mouthed curse word (or all of the above) that might be coming. Trust me, it’s better to look like the idiot you WERE than the jerk you ARE.
Common sense is so easy to get and to use. It takes just a bit of planning and staying humble. Plus the need to be good.
Like I said, mistakes happen. Take your lumps and move on. And learn from it. It’s just more common sense training.
My common sense is near a Jedi master level but with that, I know there are still places I must work on. With common sense you must also have a high degree of patience. That is something I have lacked my whole life. You must be patient when you deal with other people’s lack of common sense.
And, man…that is difficult.
In traffic or the grocery store, I have to learn that I can’t control other people’s actions by giving a dirty look or the finger or the mouthed curse word as much as I’d like for that to work. You must develop a Zen like presence. You must show by example that their actions are wrong. You must show kindness with some others disregard of respect and their ignorance and stupidity.
Sometimes the Zen must show through gritted teeth, painfully gritted teeth…but it must show.
Common sense is still out there. There are plenty of other people who have large doses of it. They learned from many years of mistakes they have made and have honed these mistakes into a sharp and strong use of common sense. And they are out there among us.
It’s just the few that make it seem worse than it really is. And when we retaliate, we make it even worse. We become like them.
So, I’m saying this to myself as much as anybody else. Keep your common sense intact by staying calm and Zen-like. Stay patient in the face of ignorance, disrespect, and stupidity. And find comfort in the fact that most of those will learn, sooner or later, that they need to be Zen like, too. And develop their own common sense.
Do your best to remember that in traffic, coming home from work on a Friday afternoon as you stop by the grocery store first.
Just do your best.
And remember…mistakes happen. Sometimes mistakes with middle fingers attached.
February, 3rd 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.