Last weekend I went to the movie theater. I do that a lot. I enjoy the entire movie watching at a theater experience. The seats, the occasional popcorn (with a little of whatever is coming out of the “melted butter” spout). I even like the previews. All 7 or 8 hours of them. But, there is one thing about going to a public theater that I always have to prepare myself for. What’s that, you ask?
Maybe it’s because I’ve spent most of my life performing in theater. I’ve been on stage when people in the audience talk, or get on their phone IN THE MIDDLE OF A SHOW!
I’ve wanted to hurt phones.
I’ve wanted to hurt people.
Maybe that’s it. But I honestly think that there was a time when people respected other people enough to keep quiet and enjoy the performance, live or recorded, while also allowing others to enjoy it as well.
Don’t enjoy it? Get up and leave. They already have your money, don’t let them take your time as well. But let others enjoy the performance in peace. And if you think that perhaps you are more interesting than what is going on onstage, then rent a theater, charge people money and produce your own show. We didn’t come to see you. Or hear you.
….but I digress….
Last night, I was watching the State of the Union address.
No, this is not where I get political. I have a strong opinion, but you’re not going to hear about it here.
But what I watched was leaders of this country, people we have chosen to lead and represent us, publicly snub, ignore and insult each other. I mean, if you did what I watched them do as a child in grade school, in my time you would have gotten your knuckles or backside smacked and been forced to publicly “make up” to the other person who you ignored, or whose homework you tore up. Today, it would probably be a timeout, or counseling, I’m not sure.
Is common consideration dead?
You don’t have to like me. I don’t have to like you. But, especially if our job is to work together, can’t there be some baseline of decent behavior?
And what does this have to do with wellness, Bob?
To me, treating each other well, agreeing to disagree, respectful dissent, whatever you want to call it, is an important part of my day to day physical and mental wellbeing. Sitting in that theater, trying to decide whether to say something, pour my drink / popcorn on them as I went by, or just swallow my frustration and move along with my life ( I swallowed, BTW) made me angry for an hour and a half, raised my blood pressure and drained the relaxation out of what should have been a relaxing afternoon. None of that promotes wellness. Yeah, I knew going in that this might be the case. But I can dream of a world where people know better, can’t I?
OK, back to my point.
What WAS my point, you ask?
There were several.
First, try to practice kindness & consideration. For example;
– If there is someone in the next lane and they are trying to merge into your lane, why not just let them. It doesn’t make you less of a man (or woman) It’s going to slow you down by, like, 10 ft, from your destination. And maybe next time it will be you, and wouldn’t you appreciate the same consideration?
– If you need to stop your car and there are parking spaces, use them. The supermarket isn’t the airport, and the 30 ft walk will probably do your passenger some good.
– If you are parking, especially if the parking lot is crowded, use 1 space. We know, it’s a Tesla ( or Mercedes, or BMW, etc) but I promise, you are more likely to get dented by taking up the only 2 parking spots left.
– Stop signs. Cell phones. I don’t want to honk at you. But it’s been green and we’ve been sitting so long that it’s gonna turn back to red in a second.
Gee. A lot of these are driving related.
– When you’ve been waiting 15 mins in line at the Starbucks, and I’ve been waiting right behind you, do you have to wait until the barista asks “can I help you?” to start the process of trying to figure out what it is you want, and exactly how you might pay for it? The menu has been right there, the whole time. The case of goodies has been visible during our entire trek from the back of the line. But you haven’t given thought one to what sort of decaf, half frapp, mocha-latte surprise drink you want, or whether the cran-apple muffin in vegan and gluten-free. And should you pay cash, card or just wave your phone at the register?
Do I really think that someone will read this and think “Oh my gosh, Bob is right! I should change my behavior”…?
Mark Twain put it best.
“Never try to teach a pig to sing. You waste your time and annoy the pig.”
But I figure it’s better the light one blog candle than to curse the darkness.
The other point I wanted to make. Mostly to myself.
These little cruelties we inflict on each other?
Get over them.
Holding onto anger and resentment is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.
Some people aren’t nice. They aren’t considerate. These are the times we live in.
Look past it. Look to the good people, doing good things. Embrace the light.
Let karma work it’s magic, while you’re sipping a Mai-Tai with friends.
You gotta live in the world. But your choices and perspective have a lot to do with your happiness.