Friday, December 20, 2013

Standing Tall

It doesn't happen often but at times we just feel tall. Erect we stand, refreshed for the challenges that are about to beset us--we feel prepared, confident and able. There's a certain joy about us, a skip in our step. It may be short lived but even so, it is tremendous when we have that feeling. We believe, we have faith, we stand tall.

Some have trouble with this sometimes. They lose confidence easily. I see people who you can tell have given up, even before that got started. I see it in the pool league often. Somebody steps up to start a match, and you know they have already decided they are going to lose. Or someone goes on a job interview and they have already decided they will not get the job. And it usually works out that way.

Standing Tall is not only about having confidence in ourselves. Part of standing tall is remaining true to convictions. We believe what we believe. It is how we were raised, it is what we believe to be important. It is an issue/idea/concept that we are not going to budge on. Those issues and principles vary from person to person. I may “stand tall” against abortion, and you may “stand tall” against “spanking” a child, while someone else “stands tall” against “drinking.” Some principles we hold near and dear, they are important to us, and for such there will not be any compromise.

The media seeks to move our “moral boundaries.” It has been going on for years. Show after show uses storylines and characters to try to influence us to believe certain things are “ok” and acceptable. I remember when many things were unacceptable. Many were considered shameful. No upstanding citizen would ever consider certain activities. Then the media went to work on us. Slowly they introduced to us the idea of something that was once considered “taboo” , well it might not be so bad. They give us a “likeable” character, show some activity he is involved in, and over time, we might move our “moral boundary.” We “like” the character, so we “learn” to accept his way of life.

And there was a time the “Bible Belt” ruled. Jerry Falwell would pop up on TV and tell everyone that “so and so” was not “all-right.” The Moral Majority had a voice and a strong one. Jessie Jackson would show up on TV and preach to us to hold true to our convictions - Don’t be swayed – Don’t give in. Billy Graham stood for what was right, and was there to remind us less we had been watching TV more than we had been reading our bibles. We had moral leaders. We had those who stood up against this and that, and tried to keep these movements down and from gaining a strong hold in our communities and hearts. There was a battle. It was a war. A bloody war.

Now it seems to me the war is over. TV won.

I’m still over here “standing tall” but sometimes I feel like the Lone Ranger.

Good Morning

I was raised/taught to say "good morning" when you first see someone, very much the same way you say please and thank you.  You don't just ignore someone and not say "good morning."  Hiding behind a shield of not being a  "morning" person is asinine and nothing more than an excuse to be rude.  You can choose to be courteous, and whether you do or don't has absolutely nothing to do with being a ‘morning person’. It has everything to do with how you view yourself, the world, and the people around you. Negative people are much less likely to be courteous. 

It “don’t cost nothing” to say good morning.... As I said, It “don’t cost nothing” to say good morning. 

Each of us represent more than just ourselves as we interact with individuals. We reflect our family. Husbands reflect on their wives, wives reflect on their husbands, children reflect on their parents. And some clearly never learned “good manners.”  Speaking and acknowledging another person’s presence is an expectation. Overlooking one’s habit of not speaking because they are not a “morning person” doesn’t help change the rude behavior. I believe that “courtesy is contagious” and the smile and greeting may be the first friendly gesture another person has experienced that day. Keep on smiling and speaking. 

I don’t expect anyone to go out of their way to INITIATE a greeting with me, but if I pass you in the hall and you ignore me, that is really rude, especially if you do it routinely. Soon, the polite people stop bothering with it and it fosters a culture of not speaking to one another – what a lousy place to work or live! Educated people should know better. And not being a morning person is no excuse for rudeness. What if I’m not an “afternoon person” and I snub you in the afternoons, is that OK?   Ridiculous. 

Are you really going to treat me like a stranger?  You’re walking down the hall and a co-worker is walking toward you. Now, I’m not talking about a bear hug or a kiss. Still, it doesn’t kill anyone to smile and nod to let others know they exist in your world. Too busy for a quick “hi”? No, you’re not.  I am not talking about being perky!!! I am talking about a simple “hi” or a slight nod or smile! The excuse that you are “not a morning person ” doesn’t fly. Decent, respectful people greet each other in the morning…..and that’s all I am going to say on the matter.  It does seem as if some folks have never been held accountable for this.