Just Do It

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I turn and see frustration. I keep turning, and I keep seeing the anger of being misunderstood, and the frustration of not communicating coming out as rage and violence.

It’s pretty simple…try to remember your Grandparents, if they weren’t speed-smoking child molesters. It was a rougher way to raise kids in their time, and some of them failed, resulting in the fucked-up parents that always have something to say, and hear so very little. The entitlement and self righteousness of the generation born in the 40s was bucked by some..but, not by enough of them. So, my generation, the ones born in the 60s-70s have no guide posts to raise our young by without skipping back to our Grandparents.

I was lucky on certain accounts…I was reared with manners, and a sense of propriety. I chafed at the discipline, and split at an early age…but, between my folks misguided, well intentioned home life and the wisdom of my Grandparents I some how made pretty decent choices. Now, this isn’t a rant about what a good guy I am, and how y’all need to be more like me…it’s just an observation, and hopefully a TINY key to unlock a HUGE bundle of problems.

The key?

Think of the other guy.

Think of the other guy as yourself.

How do you want to be approached as an adult? Do you want someone muttering at you mid-thought, having no time to ascertain what this person wants from you, as you were immersed in your own life…your own issues?

I truly think that most conflicts and misunderstandings that lead sometimes to the most extreme outcomes can be derailed peacefully with a simple introduction…and some eye contact.

Grandparent shit.

“Look the person you are speaking with in the eye, introduce yourself, wait for their counter-introduction…take a breath, and calmly present the situation to your new acquaintance.” I guarantee once you look a stranger in the eyes, and calmly shake their hand as you let them know who you are, and they return the courtesy…it’s pretty hard not to see them as a human being who deserves a measure of respect, and consideration.

“Hey, how are you doing? My name is FRED, and your name? Aaaaah, Antonio…nice one. Well, Antonio, the reason I am knocking on your door is that it appears it is your car alarm that has been keeping the entire neighborhood awake this summer, and now into fall. Is there a way we can discuss how you are going to remedy the situation, Antonio?”

Or, perhaps YOU are the transgressor.

It sure helps when someone treats you with respect, though you met under less than ideal circumstances….especially when you are the offending party.

“Hi, my name is Erin, and you are? Nicole? Oh, my sister’s name is Nicole…nice. So, Nicole…do you know why I am tapping on your car window? You think it might be the music you have been bumping for the past 45 minutes under my window? That’s right, Nicole…I am here about the loud music. My baby is trying to sleep, and while I see it’s a public street you are parked on…I hope you also see that it’s 7:25 AM on a Sunday morning…and understand that if it was me in the car, and you with the sick baby in the house, you might not appreciate my ‘Pimp Trick Gangsta Click” beats throbbing through your nursery.”

Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes.

Sure, don’t do stupid shit, like be an inconsiderate Nicole, but also…don’t be a huffy dick when things aren’t going your way. Maybe Nicole just got thrown out of the house, and is coming down from a bad crystal-meth bender after breaking up with her boyfriend who cheated with her sister, and she has a loaded handgun in her car along with her “Pimp Trick Gangsta Click” CD. Who knows?

There is a reason our Grandparents grew to reach a ripe old age….social conventions SAVE LIVES. Kinda hard to shoot your new acquaintance when they are being so cool to you.

Take a breath.

We all have our problems, we all act-out at times, and not being humiliated or insulted goes a long way in helping find terra firma to put our social feet back under ourselves and get back to “acting right”. Society is literally a team effort, and if everyone is constantly at odds, we can’t get anything accomplished. It seems this is how the banks, politicians, and scumbags have stolen our future, sold our industries, and raped our society…by keeping everyone distracted with how “different” we as people are….and ripping us off when we were busy fighting one another.

BULLSHIT.

It’s all the same…we want the same shit. Security, through a safe home environment, a healthy family, and the prospect of success…that’s all ANYONE wants.

So, show some class. Treat your “adversaries” as you would like to be treated.

Not saying you should be a pussy, or not defend yourself if situations devolve into violence, or mindlessness. A .45 in the pocket makes negotiating much safer…but it doesn’t always end well.

Just remember, that breathing room of social convention is the lubricant that keeps us from fraying…and it allows us all the time to compose ourselves, and act appropriately.

Look the person you are addressing in the eyes, and introduce yourself.

It’s simple.

It’s Grandparent shit.

It’s Good Advice.

 

“When you greet a stranger look at his shoes
Keep your money in your shoes, put your troubles behind
When you greet a stranger look at her hands
Keep your money in your hands, put your troubles behind
Who are you going to call for help, what do you have to say
Keep your hat on your head
Home is a long way away
At the end of the day, I’ll forget your name
I’d like it here if I could leave and see you from a long way away

When you greet a stranger, look at her shoes
Keep you memories in your shoes, put your troubles behind
Who are you going to call for, what do you have to say
Keep your hat on your head
Home is a long way away
At the end of the day, when there are no friends
When there are no lovers, who are you going to call for help
What do you have to change

A familiar face a foreign place I forget your name
I’d like it here if I could leave and see you from a long way away
Who are you going to call for help, what do you have to say
Keep your hat on your head
Home is a long way away”

“Good Advices” by REM

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