Category Archives: Manners

FRUITY FRIDAY BLOGGING EVENT

fruitA social experiment examining six virtues.

This event is open to everyone.

Since there are misconceptions that quitting smoking starts with the quit date, which it doesn’t, I’m inviting at least ten smokers to join this event.  (Don’t worry, you won’t quit by the end of this 6 week event!  Your merely collecting information.)

Directions:

  1. Follow this blog to receive an e-mail for the event of the week.
  2. To start immediately and to connect with others partaking in the event, introduce yourself in the comment section.
  3. On Friday go to your blog and write a post that pertains to this event and link to this one to create a ping back.
  4. Check your e-mail to receive your next fruity virtue.
  5. Repeat for 6 weeks.

Now, while you are waiting for Friday, take a step back and get into observation mode.  Watch your world and the people in it, at work, at home, in line at the store, or on the road.  On your first Friday write an introductory post on your blog with your first thoughts and expectations.

Think easy.  Don’t put forth any change except for hanging back and observing.  As you go about your day think about how you normally interact with others and watch for people who react the same as you would.

No one needs to know what you are doing.  If anyone happens to remark about how quiet you are, wait for them to ask, (don’t beat them to the punch) then tell them you are battling insomnia.  That excuse should get you through this six-week Fruity Experiment.  After that you go back to normal and you talk about it if you want.

The virtues will be in a different order than presented in the picture above. You can jump in anytime with the virtue presented for that week.  The event will roll over seamlessly to get you back where you started.

You may participate in the event more than once.  You don’t have to do anything but keep on going.

Happy Observing

Happy Writing!

Blog On!

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Blogging 101: Dream Reader

Life is a crooked and varied path.  Get on it.  That is what I want to tell people.

I’m not kidding when I say that a funny thing happened on the way to quitting smoking; I got a life. I’m dead serious.  Before I quit smoking I was on a constant run of being half-assed and not quite right.

Oh, I did a lot.  The more time got short the more often I had to just make do.  By the time I could catch my breath I was off planning the next birthday, the next holiday, the next girl scout meeting, the next trip.  I was always running from one job to the next trying to please multiple leaders with my work ethic.  I usually held two or three jobs in trying to manipulate my schedule.  First to avoid paying for day care then later to be everywhere the kids were.

I’m a B personality who worked in highly competitive atmospheres.  I lived for years on the edge of yelling, “sit down and shut up!” But I couldn’t put my finger on what was really going on and instead I whined, “That’s not fair.”  I knew those co-worker were alike and I was different so I had to fix me to keep up.  And I tried, because I wasn’t going to let them stop me.  The more I tried, the more I felt like they shoved me aside, or at least held back.

My generation was to take the baton of feminism and be a success with it because all the generations before me had fought hard and won equality.  Somewhere along the line I realized I had become this anti-feminist, feminist.  I did what I was told and I didn’t know why it wasn’t working!  I was supposed to be happy and all I could see was that I was half-assed and not quite right.

Well as the way change usually happens, it all came to a screeching halt and I was the one who sat down and shut up.  “young and twenty” recently posted an axiom “you’ll never understand the way things pass until you step aside.”  That is exactly what I did.  I gave myself several quiet days and went about my day as I watched and learned.  There were two experiments that I did.

To quit smoking I started off with False Quit Dates.  I’d set a quit date which would bring up an excuse to quit quitting and start smoking again.  So I’d work on that excuse and then set another false quit date.  I kept setting them until there was nothing left but the real quit date. And I made it.  I quit smoking.

In the middle of all that I stopped and worked on my fruity experiment.  As a kid I got mad at my Grandma for trying to teach me the Fruit of the Spirit Bible verse as I was having trouble memorizing it.  Well because of that I recognized it when I saw it as an adult, and made a note of the verse and where I could find it.

One Christmas I saw Love, Joy, Peace everywhere, when it struck me … What if, you can’t get to the love, joy, peace until you enact the Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control?  ???

I stopped the False Quit Dates and I took one virtue a day and used it against anything that came up in my day.  I started with Patience.  Turned out I learned some things and I wanted another day.  Then I took another day and did it with kindness.  Turns out kindness only works when you are kind to yourself too, this was no Random acts of kindness exercise.  The difference was, I wasn’t putting things out there.  I was responding to events that came my way and not all those events were kind.

These two experiences gave way to other epiphanies such as:

  • You can care without worry.
  • I am not naughty, naughty, naughty.  I am an adult.
  • Be responsible without being held accountable.
  • Life is not fair.  Quit trying to make it fair.
  • Control yourself; Not others.
  • Be honest.
  • Don’t rely on motivation.  I work on my non-motivation skills.
  • Don’t make douche bag choices.

I am sharing information and I am a writer marketing my books about my experience.  My Dream Reader is someone who also has an interest in these topics.

Technology and Social Disconnection

Often times I see and hear summations like these.  BTW this is repetitive, so I’m not going to single out any ONE person who said it or quote it.

When approaching total strangers for a project to explore connectedness/disconnectedness of todays technology what they get instead is question about their motives.

“Are you doing this for a school project?”
“Who do you guys work for?”

“There is always a surprise that we do this for no monetary value or a grade. That’s indicative of our culture: You can’t just do a project. We don’t do anything for free or collaborate just for fun.”

****

Say what?  That’s indicative of our culture???   No it’s not.  It is the basic quality of human nature: curiosity.  Find out why?

Not to mention it is training from stranger danger.  Don’t give out any personal information because the whole world is out to get you.

How about scheduling?  Do I have enough time to stop what I am doing to wax random philosophical opinions.

Time and time again we point out a flaw and we result in bashing someone else good idea.  Or Training for that matter.

I can also change the subject and point out that this is a classic case of trying to control others and not yourself.

It takes guts to approach random strangers and ask them to join in with you on your project and yet you want to bash them the minute they do and call it their fault for making you feel weird.

Moreover; it just a summation of of you think, does anyone stop to ask why they reacted this way?  In this case why are asking why?  Besides if you did, they’d be so flummoxed at questioning a natural response they wouldn’t be able to think of an answer until later.  MUCH later.

And… with accusations like this … no wonder we turn to technology to communicate.  Because we have lost all our patience and self-control in face to face conversations.

I see the technological advances as a natural response to stranger danger.  You might see me on my noon break zombie eating while I’m staring at the phone, but what I know I’m doing is having a very intimate moment connecting with my kids.  I might be reading a novel that is the next greatest cultural impact on my phone, which no one would question if I had brought in the book.  They’d all be jealous that I had time to read.

Anyway.   More on this topic later..

#dontmakedouchebagchoices

The core of my writing and this blog is basically manners.  I’ve tried to think of how to make this relevant especially in an era when being abrasive and sarcastic rule.  I’ve tried to do this while bogged down with something other than the Christmas spirit.

For example instead of sugar-plum fairies, christmas lights and merriment that Christmas is coming, my word of the month has been “douche bag.”   More specifically a phrase , “don’t make douche-bag choices.”

For two days at work, I’ve “stepped outside” to calm things down and to represent ourselves to unruly customers because they would rather make the douche bag choice over their choice to use their manners.  One person had to show off because he works in the industry and had to get all snappy about how he knows how it’s done.   He went on this endless rant to where the people with him were telling him to shut up.  (yay).  The other incident was some kids came in for free water and nothing else.  Since our free water is sippy cups, apparently this wasn’t enough “free” for them, so they started kicking and slamming counters, booths and glass doors on their way out.   I was a bit behind but I followed them out to their waiting car and stared at them while they pulled away.  The driver (same age) had no idea what was happening and kept pausing as she couldn’t figure out why she was receiving this pathetic “why?” gesture I was throwing her way.  (An innocent bystander as I was trying to read her intentions of stopping the car or going.)

Later we discussed why do people make the choice to act out this way?  Is this what they want to be known as?  Really?  I joked I should hashtag – don’t make douche bag choices.  I got a laugh out of it.  I don’t think it would be a bad thing.  It maybe off-putting to some of the circles I run in, but if I heard someone say, “don’t make douche bag choices” to someone who decided to be disruptive and rude, I think that would be a good thing.

I have often wondered about anti-bully campaigns because bullies don’t see themselves as bullies.  Some, not all, but some, believe they are making the cool choice.  They believe it is all in the name of fun.  If someone could point out that they were making the douchy choice without actually labeling them a douche bag.  ???  Would it make them aware of how they are representing themselves and they COULD choose to represent themselves in a better way?  Oddly …  I see this as empowerment.

Look, graffiti isn’t put up by evil gremlins during the night.  It’s done by our children hanging out and one says, “Hey, I got an idea!”

The graffiti doesn’t get put up because someone else said, “Hey, let’s not.  Let’s do this instead.”  And they just kept the crime rate from going up.  So instead of laughing and giggling at kicking the counter if the other girl with the water said don’t make douche bag choices, would they have left?  If the girl in the car said to the guy on a rant, don’t make douche bag choices instead of shut up, would he have recognized he was making a choice to be brat, instead of trying to prove he was in the right because HE knows the procedure?

What would happen if we view criminal acts such as stealing and vandalism as douche bag moves instead of ballsy moves?  What would happen if we told our politicians to quit making douche bag choices?

Who knows.  If everyone took one day …  Just one day … to #dontmakedouchebagchoices  maybe we’d catch that national wave of Christmas Spirit before this season passes us by.

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