This is about having to reprogram myself, and change the way I think, my opinions, assumptions, and presuppositions. So, while having a conversation with a friend, I kept finding myself saying things like “I hope I’m not bothering you”, even though they didn’t give me any indication that I was being annoying. I realized that I ask people that a lot, and I ask way more in my mind. I was wondering “Why do I do that?”
I finally understood something. I guess I already knew it, but I finally put it together in a coherent thought.
I’m sure this is SO shocking, but I’ve been told “shut up” , “be quiet”, “don’t talk so much”, “you’re too random”, etc for a long as I can remember. Please try to shut your mouth after you recover from the shock….
After all these years, I guess I’ve picked up the idea that being loud and random is one of the worst qualities a person could have, it’s not socially acceptable, nor is it something people like.
This hasn’t ever worked, in fact except for short periods of time in special circumstances, I am rarely quiet.
In the last few years, I’ve come to realize something quite profound. While there are times it’s important not to talk, and to stay on topic, what I’ve learned isn’t true at all. See, I’ve come to know lots of different people over the years. Some have had a great life with few problems, and seem to have it together. Most are average, and a bunch more have had some very traumatic things happen to them. They have dealt with controlling people, abusive people, liars, jerks, and just downright mean and unpleasant people. They see people who refuse to do what they say they will do. They see people who are so ruthless and manipulative, that they will do or say anything to get you to do things for them, and eventually get their way, leaving you with as little to show for it as possible. Any of this sound familiar?
Well, it’s just those type of people who seem to be come my way. I’m not saying that’s the only type of people I like or who like me. I’m just saying that, because of my personality, I seem to find quite a few people who would really love to take back several weeks, months, or years of their lives, had they not become stronger because of what they’ve been through.
In reality, (not to toot my own horn or brag), but I’ve been told more times than I can count how people appreciate what I do for them, and even just like me being positive and upbeat. Now, I have bad days. I have days that I don’t want to go anywhere, do anything, and I am not happy with life. We all have that. However, that all goes to the back burner, when there is a need to meet.
I’ve had jerk moments. I’ve been plenty selfish and greedy. Ask my parents, I’m probably not a “model kid”, to show off. However, most of the list of negative qualities is something that’s just not me. I’m not built that way. Whether it’s God’s saving grace that keeps me from it, my own choices, environment in which I was raised, or just my wiring, I just can’t imagine doing most of that. I wouldn’t even do that to people I like (or love), or even people I don’t like.
Most of you reading this probably know me well, and so this is all common knowledge. Still, I’ve realized that people appreciate honest, friendly people who want to help them, and just care about them without expecting anything back, or any favors for themselves. They don’t care if I’m loud as long as I give them space when they ask.
In summary, being loud and random is a good thing, as long as it’s controlled, and social etiquette and tact is used. I was quite different as a kid, and ran around rampant and probably deserved the punishment I got for it at the time. However, now is a different story.
I’ve been learning to UNlearn much of what I thought was true. I’ve realized, while some people just don’t get along with other people, no matter what, that being a bright spot in someone’s life, caring when most don’t, and not being phased by negativity that comes your way never goes out of style.
Who is the “least of these” in your life? Who can you show love to by actions or words that needs it? Who can you encourage that is beaten down? Who is being placed in your path just at the right time? Are you being positive and upbeat, so that people who are down can’t help but be lifted up just enough to get them by the day or week?
Think about it.