Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Actions and RE-Actions

Meet Mike Falzone. An unexpected but endless source of wisdom. My favorite part is @1:25.

Actions really do speak louder than words. They are more potent. Doing the action without the commentary is even better. Let your actions speak for themselves because proclaiming what you do or why you do it does not really say much, especially before the deed is done (if in fact it is done). If anything, such self-made proclamations are usually false; it's usually what you think you do or what you'd like to see yourself as rather than what you actually do. If you want to be the person you claim to be, prove it. Show it in the way you carry yourself, in the way you treat others, in your attitude towards life. Don't just do so in front of those you wish to impress, turn around and put on a different mask. It's all about intentions - al-niyya - and believing that really having the right intention will ultimately guide your actions and guide it well. Even when it doesn't work out so well, as long as the true good intention is there it does actually count. At least it does in my eyes.

This is where introspection comes into play. This is why you need to spend time examining yourself; your intentions, your thoughts, your values and opinions. What is it that you see in yourself as good? How does that affect your conduct, if it affects it at all? What is it that you wish to see in yourself? How do you achieve that? How can you improve? What is it that you value most in life? Does it deserve such value? You start to ask yourself such questions, all the while examining your behavior as it is. Put them side to side, does it bode well for you? If you find yourself talking a lot of shit and never really backing it up it's okay, as long as you realize you're a bullshitter and attempt to sort that out. Now if you talk a lot of shit and don't think you do, you got problems. The problem isn't just that you lie to others but you lie to yourself in the process. What do you gain from peddling all that bullshit which more often than not is obvious to be so? You lose credibility as a person - as a fellow human - and people normally can sense the BS.

I can't stand people who just say crap which is usually wildly untrue just for the sake of pretending they know about said crap; the know-it-alls. Although this trait is not exclusive to a particular gender, men are far more likely to be in such situations. Men have a real problem admitting they don't know something. They only do when they know that 'knowing something' will lead them to doing something they just don't feel like doing, so in that case not knowing is more convenient. Otherwise, some people just can't accept the fact that there are some things they just don't know about, life has not led them down that path just yet. We are only human, it's okay to not know something. Even if yo do know quite a bit more than your average Joe, humility is a beautiful quality. However we are also in an age where information is so easily accessible, if you want to know about something, you very well can in minutes. Educate yourself and broaden your horizons! You don't have to wait for someone to push you to. There is a downfall to that though, because with all that information readily available, we have almost become dependent on it. We no longer attempt to withhold information because we can always go back and ask the same question again and again, no judgement from Google. But I digress.

Just as important as actions are one's reactions; how you react to certain situations or others' actions. Since you cannot control people's behavior, you can surely control your own to better react to the situation and sometimes even appease the person before you a little. But if - for example - someone explodes and you explode back, I assure you it will go nowhere.

I am a huge believer in taking the time to understand the person standing before you, regardless of who that person is. Everyone is going through stuff in their lives and it tends to spill all over the place. Even when it doesn't remotely concern you, you may end up being a target or a punching-bag of sorts. Try to envision what could cause them to spontaneously explode and make an effort to prevent the explosion or stop it in its tracks instead of adding fuel to the flame. The way you react could very well embarrass them as they realize how things have been blown hugely out of proportion, and that more often than not, it is over a trivial matter that could surely be resolved more peacefully. Empathy, my dear Watson, I assure you can go a long way.

If you can manage to adjust your conduct so that your initial response is not a vehement one, you will realize that life will run a bit more smoothly, for you and everyone else too. You could relieve yourself of that little bit of tension everyday until it all rolls away. Now I'm not saying we should all be passive in such situations, just gauge your reactions accordingly. I honestly feel we could attract more bees with honey than with vinegar. Even if you owe the person nothing, if they scowl.....then you smile. Kill 'em with kindness.

I came across this video which gives a small peak into various lives that are going in and out of a hospital, and ultimately in and out of our lives. As we pass by countless nameless people each day, we rarely think beyond our own life story. To us, they are mere extras. So try to envision those around you in a similar way; you rarely know of all the things anyone in your life is going through at any point in time, even those close to you. And I'm not saying we should always excuse people's behaviors, just seek to understand them better and understand what could be causing the behavior. Even so, lines can still be crossed just make sure they are reasonably placed lines.

I read something around the world wide web that really stuck with me:
Time decides who you meet in your life, your heart decides who you want in your life, but behavior decides who will stay in your life.