I so want to believe in the innate goodness of humanity. I do. But I’m finding it difficult. I don’t know why, beyond people just seem to be rude. I don’t know if it’s where we live, a cultural pocket of odd behavior, or if it’s an overall world phenomenon because people are on edge due to the state of…everything.
I’m just trying to get through my daily life, like everyone else is in theirs. But sometimes that requires some assistance.
I need the small amount of trim painted around the house before winter. It’s up high, Sir Husband isn’t feeling comfortable about it, I get that. We hired someone over a year ago who said he would do it last year. Then he got swamped and said he’d be back this year, and got swamped, and now here we are again. So I tried to find someone else to do it. Not only did people not call me back, if they did actually come to give us an estimate, they never called me back to say yay or nay. Then when I tried to reach them, they never answered their phone or returned my calls. Rude.
Or, I sold a portable gas grill on our local Facebook online yard sale, and people scheduled to pick it up, but then didn’t show up, or even let me know. Wait, you committed on the thread and I marked it sold. Rude.
I must hold myself to a different standard, I don’t subscribe to these new rules. I show up if I say I will, on time. I return calls, answer emails, texts, and Facebook messages. Sure it may take a minute or three, but I do it. It’s about courtesy and acknowledgement. Am I alone in the world?
I try not to take people’s rudeness as a reflection on myself. But it’s a mystery why people are so willing to leave others hanging. Or not follow through at someone else’s expense. There’s really no uncertain outcome here, I needed you to paint my trim. You said yes. I agreed to pay you. What gives?
Maybe people are unhappy. Or are not doing what they want to do. Or maybe they are listening to other people’s jibber-jabber about what they think is going on, we live in a small town, people talk. Or they are indecisive, or over-booked, or simply don’t care. And maybe I over-analyze, but I think it goes a bit deeper.
We all have something inside of us that makes us tick and that helps us relate to the world at large. But it seems like everyone is on some kind of survival mission, afraid to look over their shoulders, closing themselves off from feelings – others’ and maybe their own. Is everyone living in the shadow of their own personal discomfort?
I thought there were some basic rules. Response. Respect. Politeness. Not selfishness. Or rudeness. But appreciation. Where’s the gratitude of healthy human interaction, or at least following through with a paid commitment?
Elizabeth Gilbert, famed author of Eat, Pray, Love, said there is so much un-done in this world (yea, like my peeled trim,) and not everything is great. But in the end, there is some good. “I don’t need your personal crap,” she says, “I have my own. There will always be shit-sandwiches offered to us, doesn’t mean we have to eat them.”
I must have expectations of others that they cannot meet. But they are no higher than those of myself. Please don’t give me anything less than your best self, I will always try to give you mine – my resourcefulness, my assistance, my authenticity, my kindness, my strength, my vulnerability, and at the very least, my response, and sometimes even my money. But guess what, innate goodness? It’s free.