It’s All Coming Together

5 09 2008

 So lately I have been annoyed by the fact that I don’t really think that a lot of people are able to think outside of themselves. It has been popping up all around me. Chili and I talked about it over lunch today. I shared with her my frustrations when people can’t seem to extend some minor, at least in my mind, considerations to other people. Would it kill you to look behind you to see if there is anyone there before you let the door slam? Do you really think that when you are in bumper to bumper traffic, stopping to let the people who are trying to turn left is going to take up to much time in your commute? Do you think that maybe, if you are going out to get a coffee anyway, you might ask me if I would like one.

 I asked Chili today “When do you draw a line? If I always do nice things for a person and they very rarely offer to return the favor, when is time to stop extending myself?”

“When doing it doesn’t feel good anymore.”

 I have been thinking about this all afternoon. Her answer was a good one I think but for me, it wasn’t enough. Something just didn’t feel right for me and when something doesn’t feel right, I start digging. I turned it around and around and got no where.

 Finally, I let it go. I was sitting outside with a book on my lap. I shut my eyes and tried to quiet my mind. This is what I came up with;

 It’s not them. It’s me.

 I always talk about doing just for the sake of doing. I love doing things just for the sake of doing. I can find equal amounts of pleasure in purchasing someone a book I think they might like (I use this example because I bought three books for two different people yesterday that I thought they would enjoy. And they were wicked cheap! Bonus!) as I can in cleaning the house. For me, the joy is in the act of doing. Usually there are other benefits as well. People typically feel good when you do something spontaneous for them. People like to know that they are thought about. That in turn makes the person who did the nice thing feel good because they made someone else feel good. Win-win. 

 So, again, where I am getting stuck is when I feel like people don’t take my feelings into consideration. Now, the woman who lets the door slam in my face doesn’t really bother me that much. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me. In situations like that I am more likely to try and explain away her behavior. Maybe she had a bad day at work. Maybe her kid is sick and she is worried about him. Or maybe her head is stuck up her ass. Who knows? The point is is that it bothers me more when it comes from my own people.

 So, while enjoying the calm and pleasantly warm breeze on my porch with my book on my lap I realized that what I think is happening is that when I do things for the people that are in my immediate circle and they rarely seem to think of me, I am maybe not doing for the sake of doing! It would appear that I have an expectation that they will in turn do nice things back.

 You see? It really is all about me.