Don’t be an asshole


My dream is to live in a secluded cabin somewhere, hidden from the fast paced world and all its annoyances. Somewhere quiet.  Oh, so, so unbelievably quiet.  But not so hidden that I can’t get to a theatre, or live music show, or restaurant, or sports game.  If teleportation became a reality, my dream could come true – living in seclusion but still having access to all of the millions of other wonderful perks of modern city life.

However, that secluded cabin would allow me to get away from certain things I find difficult to cope with.  Other people are the top of that list.

Of course, my life is filled with some truly wonderful people.  They would know the location of my secret hidden cabin and would be allowed to teleport in and out as they please (except, perhaps, on Sundays).  Family, friends and quite a few of my colleagues make the cut.  I do also love meeting new people.   There is always something to learn from them and life would be really boring if I didn’t have anyone challenging my opinions and enlightening me with their own, unique insights.

In general though, people drive me insane.  Well, one specific group of people to be exact, but they seem to be the norm these days.  That segment of humanity who no longer appear to have any level of consideration for anyone else but themselves.  We seem to live in a world where “I am number one” and the rest of us must simply get out of their way.

No consideration for their neighbours, other patrons in whatever venue you happen to be in, their pets, the environment and in a lot of cases their own family.  Excessive noise (thanks, dear neighbour, for grinding tiles during Sunday afternoon nap time), public arguments (because nothing adds atmosphere to a nice dinner out than the couple at the next table having a massive fight), screaming at the cashier (as we all know, it’s the cashiers who make all the decisions in any retail environment) and ensuring you dent as many other cars in the parking lot as possible (why are those cars parked next to you anyway – you have the right to fling your door open as hard as possible) all seem to be part and parcel of our everyday lives now.

There is very little we have any control over.  Other people and their behaviour is certainly one of them.  What I do have control over is myself and the way I react to those people and the way they behave.  They might act like jerks but lamenting on why they are that way or – even worse – reciprocating that behaviour doesn’t exactly make the world a better place.

I have recently been trying to accept these people for who they are, while striving to raise myself above what seems like the today’s societal norm.  Easier said than done, I must admit.  Not impossible with a little bit of effort.  I want to attempt to set an example of how I think we should be treating each other.

I take care when I get out of my car so as not to ding the car parked next to me.  I play my music at a level that cannot be heard three houses down.  I try to give my pets enough attention so that they don’t cause too much havoc when I’m not at home.  I chat with the cashier, make jokes with the waiter and I tell people to have a lovely day as I’m leaving.  I recycle what I can and donate to charity where and when I am able to.  I’ve realised that I don’t always have to be right and apologise if discussions get heated, even if I feel it’s not my fault.  I try to smile at someone if I notice they’re looking in my direction.  These things cost me nothing, but I am pretty sure that these small acts could perhaps brighten someone else’s day in some way.

I am by no means perfect and I still have a lot to work on.  I need to be more patient, more tolerant and less judgemental.  I certainly need to work on my fantasy of hoping the neighbour spontaneously combusts every Sunday afternoon.  I still have a very long way to go; especially with that last one (this afternoon’s incessant hammering peppered with screaming at his wife seems louder than normal).

I know the world doesn’t revolve around me but I still sometimes need reminding.

At the end of the day, I want to live my life doing the things that I want to do all the while keeping in mind what kind of impact I might have on those around me, trying to adjust my actions to create as little disruption to their lives as possible.  What a wonderful world it would be if we could all to the same.

To sum it all up, my aim in life is to simply not be an asshole.  Until, of course, teleportation is a reality and I get to move to that secluded cabin.  Then all bets are off.


4 thoughts on “Don’t be an asshole

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