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Thursday, April 9, 2009

People, perspective, x-ray vision and self control

It's late here in Mudville and I am catching up on some blog reading. I stopped by Jen's at Random Thoughts and read her musing on x-ray vision. She wishes she could read other people's hearts. As I was digesting this one particular post, I also made a connection between her desire and the large number of broken relationship bloggers I encounter as I browse. I mean the sheer numbers of people who are blogging about broken relationships in their day to day postings (myself included) is staggering. Well, I wish I could read other people's hearts too. The first one I would read would be my own. I want to be a stand up guy. I want other people to see me as a stand up guy. I want to FEEL like other people see me as a stand up guy. But why is that? Why do I care what other people see me as? Is it that important that we have a public persona that all the other people out there like? Or should we all be of the "can't please everyone all the time so I might as well please myself" mentality?

I have a brother who was trying to lecture me on perspective. He did a pretty good job of it. He got me to thinking about all the different types of perception. He engaged me in such stimulating conversation (almost makes you feel dirty when I write like that doesn't it?!?) that I literally went home and lay in bed and contemplated my own existence. GROOVY MAN!!! Well, he at least got me to acknowledge that there are a few different slants of perception to ALL our situations.

First, There is how you perceive things. You know how you think. You know how you vote. You know how you feel when you read all the horrific and mind-boggling news we see day in and day out in our world. You have a pretty good grasp how you see the world, right? Right. But how do you see yourself? Who do you consider yourself to be?

Now, compare and contrast (if you can comfortably do that) that self-perception with how you THINK others perceive you. Is there anyone you know that you think doesn't like you? Even a stranger you cut off in traffic? Anyone? Your boss? Your ex? Any enemies at all? Well, aren't you special!

Now, since you just mentally checked out that perception, you have perceived how others perceive you. That could be totally different from how they actually perceive you. Confused yet? Cool. So the whole "perception" thing is a crap shoot. You don't really know how others feel about you unless you are really tight with them and then you shouldn't even have to worry about it because they are apparently your mates, right? So, I guess we are back to the whole "can't please all the..", you know the quote.

That is exactly why we ask ourselves these questions. We want validation that we are good people. Not just validation that WE think we are good people, but validation that OTHER people see us as good people.

Back to that damn quote.

But the quote is true. We can't please everyone all the time. So we need to worry about pleasing ourselves and those loved ones we let share our lives. And to this end, actions speak louder than words.

I love my parents. I love my kids. I love my siblings. I love their families. I love my friends. I love my dog. And I strive to prove that love by doing the day in and day out things that SHOW I love them. Doing the dishes at six in the morning so that all have clean coffee cups. Coming home for lunch to make sure that my mom has eaten something nutritious and that my dog gets out for a walk. But as I suggest in this very post, actions speak louder than words. So ladies (and gents), you don't need x-ray vision; you just need time to actually watch what people do in certain situations.

It all comes down to self-control. Doing the right thing in the right situation at the right time is tricky. Actually it can be down right hard sometimes. And I know that I fail at it. ALOT. But that is cool because I know me, and I mean well, despite my own imperfections.

So, to heck with what you all think. I am going to tuck my mom in, give my dog a treat and have a beer. But I am watching you to see how you behave and if you are a nice woman with good values and show it by being yourself day in an day out, well; you rock!! And you heard it here as validation that I perceive you that way.

In fact, some of the bloggers I think rock are Diane, J Cosmo Newbury, Curl Girl, Mama Kat, Matt, Wendy, Janie, Black Hockey Jesus, C Beth, Laurie, Quita, Jenn, Angie, Melissa, and more than I can keep writing out. But I only see you on the web, so my perception is limited.