At times we believe jealousy is the furthest thing from our minds. The truth is it is always close by and waiting to pounce unexpectedly. We are content to hear of the problems of others. It can make us feel improved. It allows us to think of being contented. We are superior to the person whose problems we are listening to. We gain more support in difficult or unhappy times than when we are celebrating cheerful periods. It is curious but we feel better when another is hurting. We feel jealous when another is rejoicing. At first glance we deny this but on a second glance we face the reality of our thoughts.
The competition starts before we are even aware. We begin the competition from the day we are born. Parents actually set up the first rivalry. Babies are judged by who is longer or bigger at birth. It continues with when a baby walks talk’s train’s counts and manipulates objects. Parents may refuse to believe they are remotely in any race but the reality of the matter is from babyhood through adulthood we are programmed to compete.
It is a mystery why we expect so much of ourselves. It is awesome to have lofty goals but when we expect to accomplish more than what even two people are capable of accomplishing, it is time to release some of the burden. Our own goals are so much higher than any expectations others have for us. The trouble is we fault ourselves when we fail to meet all of our challenges. We also run the risk of becoming so defeated that we give up and stop any attempts to achieve any goals.
How many times have we began a discussion with someone and ended up in an angry confrontation, or worse, an escalated battle. It happens. Especially when we are tired or simply overburdened, we tend to allow heightened sensitivities to overcome our thought processes. We may want to straighten out a disagreement or confront another about a sticky situation. Even if we have set the time and place, we still must reflect on what we want to accomplish in this planned argument. We are fooling ourselves by thinking we are trying to resolve the conflict, when we are totally attempting to make our own arguments and win the battle.
Nobody likes unexpected changes. Even good changes leave us floundering for a while. We might think happy events would charge us with happy attitudes. Sometimes the opposite happens. An upcoming marriage is an awesome happening. Everyone is excited. If one checks on the viewpoints of the major players in this event, we discover not all parties are exuberant. There are many sad stories that result from these so called happy changes.
At one time children were taught to use various modes of speech in any circumstance. When in the presence of parents, they might use one form while at school another form. When outside with friends, children could break down the barriers and say just about whatever they wanted. The formal speech was used for those in authority, while the respectful courtesy speech might be used with strangers. Today we have no filters used for anyone at any place or situation we find ourselves in. The result is an insensitivity regarding our fellow human beings. It has also resulted in fostering anger, frustration, aggression and hurt feelings which diminish self-esteem. Quick replies via technology of all sorts are the current mode of speech. How technology is destroying humanity should be contemplated. It is time for us to control technology rather than technology controlling us.
I wonder how many people admire rule breakers, or are inspired by them. We perceive them as courageous. The truth is they are seekers of a moment of fame. Recognizing what fame is helps us to understand who deserves it. There will be no mention of those people who deserve a bit of fame for taking care of their neighbors. Such people watch out for others when the need arises. A wife is left alone when her husband is on a business trip. Neighbors keep a watch. Kindness is when an older woman is left widowed and has a house to shovel out or a yard to clean. Honor is when a neighbor gets a prescription for a sick neighbor. These people are not all friends; they just care about a fellow human being. That is altruistic. They are not looking for anything in return, nor do they expect anything in return.
At various times we have a conflict with a friend or relative. It is common and is usually the result of either person having a bad day. For a variety of reasons, we fail to mend the quarrel. The longer we take to amend the clash, the worse things get and the more uncomfortable we feel. What began as a disagreement mushrooms into a battle and then war? Neither party wants to confront the opposing foe.
The third pitfall to avoid is misconstruing what others say. If one doesn’t then it may place us as close to a disaster in a relationship as anyone could get. Many times we misinterpret what others say and flavor the words with our own ideas. This obviously haunts us and leads our minds down roads that we were never meant to travel. Our feelings take over because we assume it is all about us. Words can hurt us. If we question what is said it allows for discourse and understanding although an others motives for the dialogue may still appear as secretive.