The older I get, the more refined I have become at who I let into my world. Energy is a real thing for me and I strive to only be in the presence of nothing but the best, most authentic energy. I am surrounded by people who do great things regularly and who are innately good natured people. So when it comes to the little world in which I live, I feel like as humans, as a species, we are winning.
If you take me out of my little bubble though, I often question if as humans, are we really winning? (and now I sound like Carrie Bradshaw). Try driving in LA. You will know exactly what I mean. There are so many times that I feel like collectively we are not so evolved and are actually taking steps backwards instead of forwards. Which makes me sad. And I know not one miniscule blog from little ole me will catapult us forwards, but perhaps it will inspire us to act differently or not tolerate the losing behaviors when we see them.
I write this as I am sitting on a BIG 777 flying across country so we all can be home with our loved ones for Thanksgiving. We all should be nothing short of appreciative and kind, right? We are until the boarding process commences. And I admit this is one of my biggest pet peeves ever because I pack extremely efficiently. Nothing makes me more livid than having to check my tiny bag when I see people’s umbrellas, jackets, and laptop bags taking up valuable real estate in the overhead bins. And yes I get it, some people are tall (something that is totally foreign to me) and they need the space under their feet. This is not usually what is going on.
I bring this point up because it reminds me that so many of us just feel entitled. We feel entitled to take up more space than someone else just because we can or boarded first (despite that this is controlled by the airline). We feel entitled to cut someone off on the elevator because they did not step on fast enough. We feel entitled to jump to the front of a line at the grocery store because we just came out of a yoga class and are rushing to pick up our kid up from daycare as soon as we pay for a few items (yes I went there). We feel entitled to that promotion at work because after all, we took every training available and clearly that makes us qualified (when perhaps performance and qualifications are lacking). We feel entitled to say whatever we want because we cannot be bothered to filter what comes out of our mouths even at the expense of (which is not just entitled but seriously bad communication skills).
So yeah… there is a common theme of feeling entitled. And feeling entitled is not winning.
I recently saw a post on Facebook from a guy who was essentially making light of all the recent sexual harassment charges in Hollywood. His post was to the effect of how the charges have gotten so out of control, that soon a guy won’t be able to say hi to a girl without that being considered sexual harassment. Ok really dude? Innocently saying “hi” to someone is nowhere near the same as inappropriately soliciting someone for sex or forcing oneself on someone. So yeah, being ignorant and insensitive is not winning.
I also do not think it is winning for anyone to post things that objectify woman (the things I have seen about men making references to women being good for cooking and sex only make my skin crawl). I do not think it is winning to post with pride about getting put in Facebook jail for calling someone a faggot on a public page. (And for the record, I unequivocally loathe that word and even typing it makes me feel like a horrible human). I do not think it is winning to praise a president for wanting to ban Muslims and basically anyone who is not White from entering the United States. I do not think it is winning to body shame anyone. I do not think it is winning to bully anyone. Ever.
I do not think being stagnant or complacent is winning either. It might bring contentment and status quo. Perhaps that works for some, but it does not for me. That is why I personally do things like CrossFit and blogging. CrossFit keeps me challenged (physically and mentally), disciplined, and aware of myself and even those around me. Blogging forces me to be very cognizant of the words I chose. I am a firm believer that in communication, the responsibility of what message is heard is very much that of the person speaking (or writing).
We all have the ability to influence other people. We may not reach as many people as a celebrity or public figure does, but we reach those in our own worlds which is pretty freaking powerful. We can influence others to not be stagnant. We can influence others to not dismiss conflicts or even others’ emotions.
Winning to me is to being so aware of people around us. To me that is the common theme in this blog, in all my seemingly disjointed points. Winning is to realize the power we really do have, albeit small or big, and more importantly not abusing it. Winning is being respectful of others whether it is when you board a plane or how you choose to treat someone else. Winning is a choice. Strive to think about others. Strive to correct those who do not. We need it now more than ever.