The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life
For those of us who find nature to be both aesthetically beautiful and life-sustaining.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How a Healthy Dose of Ranting Can Improve Social Skills and Self-Reliance




Topics are important to provide an overall map to navigate a general direction. However, topics shouldn't be restraints. Today, I am going to wander briefly off of the usual topic and I hope that you will go along for the ride as I usually find a way to tie it all together anyway.

Occasionally, everyone finds themselves in a quandary of "should I please the masses or be myself?" Today, I feel the need to rant. Now, before I rant, allow me to point out that ranting can be productive if it is done appropriately. Appropriate ranting should be directed at no singled out group or individual and should be stated in a general fashion. I have found that a healthy dose of ranting usually frees my energy up for more productive endeavors and often speaks volumes to others who enjoyed knowing that they are not alone in things that irritate the soul.

So, today's topic is appropriate ranting. Ranting, by definition, is usually expected to be loud, excited, and at times belligerent. I have no desire to be any of those things. My rant, you will be glad to know, is more of a humorous dose of honesty.

Today's list of things that irritate me down to my cellular level:

1. People who help people who do not help themselves. I adhere to the "help those who help themselves" philosophy. I do not believe in extending an olive branch to anyone who actively put themselves into the situation they are in and did absolutely nothing to get themselves out of the situation they are in. If they are unable to help themselves, then by all means, I would love to help them. The helpless people that I am referring to are "those people" that we all encounter now and then who are known to be "life suckers." They suck the life out of themselves and everyone around them. While they profess that their own life sucks, they have an assumption of entitlement, they expect you to bail them out when they are in trouble, they assume someone will help them, or someone will save them, or even worse yet, they allow other people to fight their battles for them. I am referring to personal battles here. They stir the pot, step back, and watch the fire-works as other people come to their aid. But, my rant is not as much about "these" people as it is about "the people" who help them. If you are one of "the people" who help "those" people, stop aiding and abetting helpless people to continue their destructive paths. The primary reason you are helping them is selfish. You are helping them to feel good about yourself. Because the truth is you are not helping them at all. You are only helping them to be more helpless.

and another thing.....

2. People who paint their home a strange color that for all intents and purposes should never be in the exterior paint color catalogue. This doesn't affect me personally, but it does affect me physically. Wild pink and obnoxious green homes punch me in the face every time I drive by them. These homes physically hurt my eyes. I cringe. I wonder about the individual's sanity for a brief moment as I shake the after-effects of the bright, band of color-mirage that has now permanently imprinted itself in my long-term memory bank. I attempt to give them the benefit of the doubt. I tell myself that surely they must be color blind. But, then I am left to ponder what color assistant in their right mind would allow them to walk out of the store with those colors for a home? Then it begins to settle through me like the painful aftermath of an over-indulgent, greasy-spoon buffet; they must have done it on purpose. They actually enjoy and purposefully chose screaming, offensive colors that provoke hysteria. They like them so much so that they naturally just assumed that I would as well. Well, I don't. Please, if you are reading this, and you know that you are a color assaulter, or have a history of color assaulting, or know someone who has before painting anything else or allowing them to paint anything else, follow these simple instructions:
 First, paint a random bird house those same color schemes, then slather some of those offensive colors on your dog's home and maybe a little on Rover too (on second thought, don't paint Rover... he's likely to wander the neighborhood and make me look at him). Next, I need you to stare at both the bird house and the dog house relentlessly for 30 days. Drive by them daily. Drive by them numerous times per day, from multiple directions, under varying lighting circumstances, in multiple weather conditions, with and without glasses, and at differing times of day. Drive by them with a full stomach. Drive by them with an empty stomach. Drive by them with a caffeine headache. Drive by them with a child squealing from the back seat as they are kicking their last sock off that you just placed on them for the tenth time. Drop a can of Spam on your left, little toe and then drive by them. Give yourself paper-cuts on both index fingers and then drive by them. Rub salty French fries into the paper-cuts and then drive by them. Wait until you have a disagreement with your co-worker, storm out the door self-righteously, trip on a protrusion on the sidewalk and stub your right, big toe, in front of your boss, pretend you did it on purpose to spare what little bit of dignity you have left, and then drive by. Hop in your vehicle on a windy day, spill a bright-red drink on your brand- new white jacket, question why you bought a white jacket in the first place, remind yourself that it was on sale, and then drive by them. If you still feel the need to paint your home "those" colors: accept that you may have a problem, seek help, read a pamphlet, phone a friend, deep breathe, call a sponsor, do some yoga, but seriously, seriously, think before you act and consider the long-term ramifications and consequences upon the innocent who are merely vicarious victims of your color assaults.

and another thing.....

3. People who think and believe that they have it worse than anyone else. This is truly something that gets my blood stir-fried. Everyone has problems. Some people have HUGE problems. Some people have problems that involve food and water, life and limb, life or death. So, your favorite television program didn't record, you broke your fifth smart phone, and your check was a little short. This may be life or death to you, but I assure you it won't be to other people. Keep your whining in check. No one wants to hear it. They have their own problems and the world has even bigger issues. My solution is usually to remind these people that the "stuff" that they are allowing to consume them is miniscule in the whole scheme of things. This doesn't win me popularity contests, but neither does "oh, you think you have problems?" Today, a co-worker told me she thinks that the universe is out to get her. I asked her why she thought that. She indicated that her new smart phone's speaker wasn't working and now she has to go to the phone store again. I thought this was slightly, if not obnoxiously, humorous as I had just been scanning the world news headlines and had viewed literally dozens of images of pain, war, terror, death and dismemberment. So, I told her "yes, I suppose that's pretty serious, but check out the world news headlines real quick and you will likely see that the universe is too busy to be after you through your smart phone." She paused and laughed at herself and thanked me for helping her keep things in perspective (a little sarcastically, but she thanked me nonetheless). Now, keep in mind, She's got a sense of humor so, don't try that on just anyone.

Although I could go on, I won't. I hope you enjoyed today's appropriate rant-fest and hopefully could relate a little. Now, as I promised...I am going to tie this all together to be in line with topic.

here goes.....

In order to be fully self-reliant and prepared for anything that life may throw at you, you must first practice your social skills. I have a previous post on this topic which I will be adding to at a later date. In order to practice social skills, you need to know how to find a healthy way to vent, right? Well, there you go. A healthy way to vent is in a generic manner on a post or blog and said with an entertaining spin with the intent of humoring others without harming others. You can think it, write it, read it, chuckle at it and move on to invest your energies into honing those social interaction skills that we discussed earlier. There you have it. I have tied it all together after all. Not bad eh?




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