Sunday, 21 April 2013
Sunday Sermon: You catch more flies with honey!
One of the many sayings my Grandmother used to tell me, normally when I was being horrid to my little sister over something or other. to be honest with you, as a young whipper snapper I used to sit there dumbfounded as to why on earth anyone would want to catch flies? Seriously, why catch flies. As I grew older I took the wisdom from those words and realised that you often get more things done, and command more respect from others if you are civil, polite and treat other with respect you wish to receive yourself. However, the words of one of my bosses also ring in my ears "flies also like shit, so what do flies know?". It's not a difficult concept this honey pot thing though; simply put are you more likely t respond positively to someone who insults you, shouts at you and generally acts like a complete asshat... or are you more likely to respond positively to a person who treats you with respect, communicates in an open and fair way and is generally a good person? Just think about your own experiences for a moment, who have you been most likely to respond positively too in the past in your social interactions?
I've often thought about this, because being a 'nice guy' we're consistently told in slightly saccharine American rom-com's means we always finish last, except you don't because the cooky guy with the curly hair seems to get the girl in the end. Puke! Society though does put it out there that if you're nice you become a doormat; that people will walk all over you. A certain Iron Lady certainly believed in this selfish and self centered attitude, and as a society we've brought into this mantra far more than the 'be nice mantra'. You see, for every saying there is an equal and opposite saying. It sucks! Why can't things just be straight forward? I guess though if they were it'd make life a little bit boring wouldn't it? I mean, we all have to work this stuff out for ourselves, find out who we want to be. I've tended to go down the route that I much prefer being a decent person, true I'm likely to get quite vicious if you try to attack or otherwise harm my own, but I'm not the sort of person who views every social interaction as a confrontation. A chance to prove I'm 'better' or I'm 'right'. I'm just not like that, I don't assume anything, I think long and hard about what it is I believe.
I've never taken anything at face value, and I always want to test things out for myself. So I've always been open to others telling me they think I'm wrong, or that maybe I ought to look at things again. It's good to have your beliefs and opinions challenged in this way for two reasons. Firstly if your opinion doesn't stand up to the scrutiny it doesn't mean you were wrong... well it does I guess... but, more importantly it means you've learned something new. I don't know about you lot, but I want to be smarter, I want to learn and so I view these occasions as being great events, because it means I'm smarter than I was before... and I think we could all stand to be a little bit smarter. Secondly, if your beliefs do genuinely stand up to scrutiny then you have affirmation that you are on the right track, that what you believe isn't just a steaming pile of badly thought out crap... yeah OK, you could argue that it means you were right, but I prefer to think of it as being less wrong; because we can never truly know what is right.
Thing is when you take the approach I do, you do indeed attract a lot of things with honey, not just the flies. Some of it is welcome, some of it less so. I've always given everyone the respect I believe I am deserving of myself, even though there are those who don't tend to give me that respect. Regardless, it's who I was brought up to be. I can't help thinking though that at times I've possibly contorted myself too much to accommodate people who are not deserving of my respect, not just on this Blog, but in life in general. I was told the other day that I missed out on a job because I was, and I quote 'too nice' in a group assessment center. I'd encouraged others to answer and speak up, I'd been supportive. I'd built a consensus and where appropriate stood my corner in a firm, but polite manner. It's who I am. Turns out, I guess, it's not what this world wants of me. So perhaps it's not who I'm going to be anymore. Perhaps I should have attacked my fellow job-hunters in that group discussion for some of the crass idiocy they were displaying... perhaps that's what people want nowadays.
I can be ruthless when I want to be, I do have a highly competitive streak in me. A finely honed sense of cutting wit and an ability to tear strips off of people. I've done it in the past, it's just it has made me feel like a complete *bleep*. However, perhaps that interview feedback had a ring of truth about it. I accept that at times I'm too accommodating of others opinions, I've always felt that it is important to let everyone have their say, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't express my own opinions or beliefs. At some point I guess I've seemingly forgotten that actually I have a valuable and important voice that deserves to be heard as well. So while I'm always going to want to hear what other people have to say, and I'll be respectful of your beliefs, I'm not going to allow my own opinions and beliefs to play second fiddle anymore. I'm going to take a leaf out of my wargaming attitude book.
In a way playing wargames is a similar test of our beliefs, and knowledge. It's a test of how we understand and perceive the systems we uses to replicate little battles with teeny tiny toy soldiers. I've been 'schooled' plenty of times in my day; in fact when I was younger I was brash bold and utterly predictable and stupid. However, I've developed into a fierce competitor at most games. I will exploit any weakness I see, I will seek out your weaknesses as well. I'll be polite about ripping your best laid strategic plans apart, I'll even sit down with you and explain why what you did wasn't wise... but obviously after you've been roundly defeated and mercilessly put to the sword. I guess you can still be ruthless and be a gentlemen about it. I just have to take that competitive streak from the tabletop and apply it to how I approach other things in my life.
So for those of you out there who come here on my Blog and act like an idiot, sprouting rubbish in an aggressive no constructive way I will treat you and your drivel with the short shrift you deserve. I'm not going to suffer fools and angry Internet warriors anymore. Life is far too short to allow the nutters to win. Please feel free, as always to express yourself openly and honestly here. You are perfectly entitled to disagree with me, and I'll listen to you if you do, and I'll allow you to do so on here... as long as you do so respectfully and allow others to have their say. If you try to shout others down, even those I disagree with, I will not put up with you in any part of my life. I've had enough of the nutters, and I think most decent people have as well. Peace out!