Friday, March 12, 2010

5. Be Civil

Whuf! This series has been a little tougher than I thought it would be. Mostly just because I had that round of so-called Strep, that turned out to be that stupid flesh eating virus that gives me ulcers in my throat. Again. Being sick just eats the color out of my life.

There is also a notable, unbloggable elephant sitting on my keyboard. Stupid elephant has managed to hurt my feel-bads on seven different levels of strange Chinese hells... like the Hell Of Childhood Hurts, the Hell Of An Ungrateful Heart, the Hell of Things That I Don't And Cannot Understand But That's How It Is Anyway, The Hell Of There Goes The Last Of Your Discretionary time, and the Hell Of What The Hell Is My Problem?

Like when you need to just get over a jerk-wad ex-boyfriend, you know you need to let him go, you know you shouldn't care about some dill-weed that treats you bad, and you are going to stay away from whassisdork and all that.... but it still hurts and it's going to just keep hurting till it doesn't anymore. I am waiting for it to stop hurting, only there is no jerk, there is just me and my brains and my traitorous heart.

Not trying to be cryptic, but I do want to acknowledge that I am an angry, hurty person right now, even if I cannot tell you why.

So... Be Civil.

Look, I am more that aware that I am not everyones cup-o-tea. More than one person has taken it upon themselves to point out how Lame I am... and other things besides. I'll tell you a secret, not everyone I meet is my bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper either. Some people just rub me wrong by breathing air near me.

Some people go out of their way to make me miserable. But do I have to let them dictate my
behaviour? Heck no. When I react to some random person's nastiness with nasty in kind, I am giving them some of my space and some of my energy. Plus I am helping to grow the problem. Nourishing it. Closing down any useful dialog between us.

Civility is a choice, it is always a choice. It is not capitulation, it is not surrender and it is not validation of anything wrong done to you... it is simply Civility. An attitude, a pro-active choice rather than any kind of reaction. Since it is pro-active, it stands on it's own and has the amazing ability to be a beginning. A do-over. An opportunity to alter what ever negative thing is happening, or keep peaceful whatever disagreement that stands between two people. It is the anti-escalator, and when we adhere to Civility we can find whatever middle ground exists between those that disagree, small though it may be.

Civility means you put on your Big Girl Panties and Use Your Words. Sometimes it means doing things you would rather not, and often it means to have a care with how you say what you think you mean. Sometimes it requires you to listen twice, sometimes it means you just walk away.

It's all the stuff yer mama taught ya.
And I'll tell ya, little one year old boys don't know civility from a poopy doobah, so this is all ya get today!

4 comments:

Mama D said...

I love diet Dr. Pepper! It is the King of diet drinks don't you think? Sorry to hear that you are feeling angry right now. I hope that you are feeling better soon.

Civility. Yep. I think I'm pretty good at this one. I practice it a lot in my job when dealing with disgruntled people. (Not because they don't like their hair usually because of appointment screw ups. Had to make that clear.) I always take the stance of "We screwed up (even if it was actually you) We're sorry. What can we do to fix this?" However, when it comes to those neighbors of mine I mentioned... I am civil. To their faces. Behind their backs I grumble and say bad things and I need to stop. Don't you agree?

Deni said...

Bonnie,

I absolutely love you! Hopefully I'm not one that rubs you wrong by breathing by you :).

Know you are wonderful. I would have told you a month ago when you wrote this post, but I wasn't following your blog then.

Now I am, and you know I'm with you...civility is a choice. I especially love when I have to rehash the comments of one said "perfect" neighbor, who has "perfect" kids, who on more than one occasion has let me know how UNperfect I am. It's not easy to let go of.

bon said...

Ha! Deni, naw... I was mostly exaggerating and partly thinking about my kids after they have pushed me too hard.

That stinks about the neighbor with the commentary! I suspect it might help if you were SO imperfect that your neighbors cannot even find a place to START critiquing ya. Works for me anyhoo.

slytrifecta said...

I loved that you spelled "behaviour" the English way :)

I loved that you wrote everything that I think on a DAILY basis!!!

I love that you speak your mind and don't apologise (spelled the English way).

I love your AWESOMENESS!!!

and I love that I came across your blog tonight :)