Offending the Offender

pointingRecently a situation occured when I called out someone for doing something wrong. I hate to witness an injustice or someone who thinks they are above the rules. When I corrected this person, they proceeded to fuss me out about it.  The offender was offended that I called them out on their offense.

Confusing?  Yes, it is.

Sadly this is the time we live today. This is the time when you can’t enforce the rules or correct anyone. The strong wall of pride keeps people from owning up to their mistakes and move on. Instead they would rather turn it around on you and make you feel bad for making them accountable for their actions.

And then there’s the gun issue.

I’m not going to debate the gun issue because I know each side is adamant about their views and will attack you for believing the opposite of what they believe – however – you can’t hold people accountable anymore because they will think nothing of pulling out a gun and shooting you. It doesn’t matter whether they are right or wrong. There are too many people out there who have little or no regard for lives. They will use a gun quicker than trying to reason out a difference. Regardless of how you stand on the gun issue you only have to watch the news to see how easily people resort to their guns to resolve their conflict.

One of the places most of us deal with this is on the roads. Road rage incidents have increased and people will pull over and want to fight you if you call them out or blow your horn at their infraction. It’s a crazy world out there. How is it that the offending party refuses to take responsibility for anything?

This week I had to apologize for confronting a neighbor for blocking MY driveway. The confrontation got heated as I got fed up with the complete inconsiderate act by the neighbor while I reminded the neighbor that what they had done was in violation of community rules yet I had to apologize for my reaction to it. Did you follow that? Yeah it gets a little confusing.

I don’t get it.

Our society today seems to be too prideful to admit to doing anything wrong. Just say “I’m sorry” or a “my bad” and move on. None of us are perfect. Quit the fussing. It’s not worth it.

I have never seen it as bad as it is now. It’s an epidemic. The pride flu has spread like the plague.  So what can we do to handle these moments of injustice?  I know that the Bible says to “turn the other cheek” but when you’ve already done that then what?

The easy answer is to let it go.  That’s not easy.  We have to be wise in picking our battles.  I still think we should speak up when we need to do so.  Sometimes the situation calls for it but if things escalate beyond what it should be, we should also have the strength and ability to calm things down.  As the old country song goes:  “Know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em.”

Here are some things that might help in dealing with these situations:

  1. Ask yourself if it’s worth it to confront the offender.  It’s important to identify the situation and whether or not your confrontation is justified.
  2. Stay calm.  Keeping cool will keep the situation from turning on you.
  3. Avoid personal insults.  Stay on the subject of the offense.
  4. Know when to back down.  Sometimes you’re just not going to win.  Backing down isn’t weakness it is intelligence.
  5. Notify the appropriate authorities.  You don’t always have to resort to calling the police but you can address some situations through other authorities.

If you or I are the offender and someone calls us out on something, let’s remember that side of it too.  Either apologize and move on or try to calmly explain your situation if there was a reason you took the action you did.  A soft answer to when we have been called out usually turns out a whole lot better than flipping someone off or ignoring the offense.  We are all human and we all have these moments when we are either the offender or the victim of the offense.

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World

madWhy did he do it?

That’s what people are asking about this guy that decided to open fire on the concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

So many are speculating.   Some say it is ISIS.  Others say it was a gambling debt.  There are a lot of people speculating.  At this point we just don’t know.  I’m sure investigators are looking through everything belonging to this guy.  I know this “guy” has a name but I’m choosing not to use it.  He’s not famous and deserves no mention in my blog.

I was discussing this with my wife last night on the commute home from work.  What causes people to snap?  Some say his actions were planned.  It just puzzles me why he did it.

One thing that worries me is that we live in a mad world.  People are so quick to get angry.  As I was talking to my wife, some jerk jumped in front of me on the road and I was quick to point my finger at them and fuss at what they just did.

There it is.  Anger.

“Careful, they might shoot you,” my wife cautioned.

Yep, she was right.  While I’m fussing and pointing my finger at them, in this world they could stop, pull out a gun and shoot me.  They were in the wrong and yet THEY would get mad at me for calling them out on their traffic infraction.

I also shouldn’t get upset.  Let it go right?

We are much too stressed and self-focused to make allowances for anyone outside of our little circle of family and friends.  It’s a sad world when people’s first response to being angry is to pick up a gun and shoot.  It is also crazy that anyone should have possession of semi-automatic weapons.  Why would someone need this type of arsenal?  What kind of war are people arming themselves for?  Good grief people.  I think people need medication to calm down.

It’s a funny thing about this anger thing.  We all get caught up in it.  It’s dangerously contagious.  I’m a fairly patient person but the anger button can be pushed.   The difference is that while I have gotten angry, I have never wanted to shoot anyone.   What is with this shooting mentality?

Of course, now this incident is called the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and when the news reports come on there are this sensational graphics to go with it.  These tragic events are made into a movie-like report.  I know it’s news and has to be reported but can we not make it so sensational?  There’s someone else out there that’s already thinking about doing something to top it whether it be ISIS or someone that is just an emotional bomb waiting to go off.

So what’s the answer?  Ban ALL guns?  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.  More gun control?  We’re supposed to have a bunch of laws controlling that now.  Metal detectors everywhere?  There would never be enough.

The answer is that each person dial it down a notch.  We are all in need of an inventory of ourselves.  We need to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around us and who’s on our friend list.  Every life matters.  None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes.  We all get upset.  When we get upset at someone who isn’t in our circle, we need to do a better job with controlling our internal thermometer.   Everyone is not out to get us or purposely trying to harm us.  Yes, there are people who are a donkey’s rear end but let’s be careful not to cast that perception over the entire population.

Calming down this mad, mad, mad world starts with each of us.

Why Are We So Impatient?

impatience

This weekend I took my few items to the self checkout at a local grocery store. Before I could take my receipt and remove my items, a man came up and began his checkout.  I looked back at him and shook my head in disbelief.  It never phased him at all.

I don’t know if you have noticed but we are an impatient bunch in this world.  You will see it even more evident when you drive on the roadways.  People will take chances they shouldn’t or become very frustrated out of simply being impatient.

What is wrong with us?

I feel badly for anyone who is elderly or handicapped because people will almost run over you to get past or get ahead of the slower ones.  What are we in such a hurry for?

We are impatient because we are selfish.  It’s all about us and our own circle of friends.  If you aren’t a part of that circle then you might as well be invisible.  My wife has nearly been stepped on three times in the last few days because people just don’t think or care to acknowledge that someone might be behind them in line.  Yes, I know.   A line of all things!  Why would anyone be in a line?

Many times when I am in a grocery store buying groceries I will say that people act like they are the only ones in the stores.  Watch them and you will see what I’m talking about.  (Don’t get me started on grocery stores.   That is a post for a later time.)  Sometimes I will just stand for a moment and watch the impatience totally amazed at how blatant it is.  I got on an elevator recently and pushed the button to my floor and another person fussed because I was going to stop them from getting to their floor sooner.  Yes, what?  Ten seconds maybe?  I just looked at them and said nothing.

We are impatient because we live in a day where we want things and want it now.  We don’t want to wait on anything or anyone.  Remember in the old days when we had “dial up” internet?   Yeah, we aren’t even satisfied with the high speeds we have today.  We can get instant news, fast food and even pick up our groceries at the store without even getting out of our car.

I am firmly convinced that because of our impatience that this is the reason for anger in our society.  If we don’t get what we want or we have to wait, then we get angry.  We like to say that we are tolerant of others but, in reality, we really aren’t.  We are only tolerant when it is convenient for us or doesn’t go against us.

So how can we deal with impatience?

  • Have reasonable expectations.  If it’s rush hour, leave in time and be prepared to be inconvenienced.
  • Be a good at waiting.  If you find yourself in a line or forced to wait, use that time to be constructive.  Make notes of things you need to do.  If you can look at your smartphone by all means take advantage of the waiting time.  Deleted old emails or photos.
  • Take slow, deep breaths.  This will help slow down your heart rate and allows your body to take a time-out.
  • You are in control.  You have a choice in how you react in every situation.

Above all things remember the old “Golden Rule” and treat others like you would want to be treated.  What?  Think of others?  But I don’t have time for that!  And that, my friends, is impatience.  THINK of others.  We will all have a chance to be patient or need someone else to be patient with us.