life

Why Courtesy Is No Longer Common

Drive Through Woes

What has happenened to simple, common courtesy? I’m a little more than perturbed about the lack of simple social graces in day to day life. As a mother of two, I’ve always felt it imperative to teach my children about courtesy. In my books, you let someone in front of you in the grocery store line if they only have one item and you have a cart load, and you also open doors for others, out of courtesy.

After an early morning soccer run, I decided stop at a drive through for a snack for J-man and I. The entrance to the drive through was rather confusing and with another car in front of me, I had to stop and back up so they could actually turn in. Of course I did back up and waited for the driver to successfully turn into the lane, however another driver pulled up in front of me, saw that I was waiting and just pushed through as soon as they had the chance. To quote Stephanie Tanner from Full House, “HOW RUDE!!”

The drive through then had others pull up behind this rather rude person who cut-in ahead of me, and nobody bothered to let me in.  It seems that as a community, we have lost the art of practicing simple social graces. Would it have killed this person to actually let me in?

The Courtesy Call To Action

I take pride in the fact that my children are often complimented on their ability to be courteous. It takes work to build this character trait, and it only comes by learning from the actions modeled by others. So why is it so hard for many to offer a simple gesture of courtesy in day to day life? I believe that the foundations of courtesy have simply been lost in a world that is full of hurried lifestyles and constant competition.

It’s not a sign of weakness to step aside for another to pass, or to open a door for someone waiting to come through. But, this needs to be learned, and I feel that it’s simply not being prioritised as something that is necessary in today’s world of “me first.” So what can be done?

If you’ve been stirred by reading this post, I encourage you to stop and think the next time you are presented with the opportunity to extend a gracious gesture of courtesy. You may not be rewarded immediately, but there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that you’ve contributed to the cause of reinstituting this dying human art.

The Courtesy-Grace Model

We cannot expect courtesy and grace from others unless we model this ourselves. This comes from making the most of simple opportunities to extend courtesy to another, no matter if you’re pressed for time or not.

Extending courtesy takes a special kind of grace. Being gracious leads to being courteous. If we expect others to treat us with courtesy, then we too must be committed to doing the same. How can we expect the next generation to exude tolerance when we haven’t even mastered the art of extending courtesy and grace?

It takes strength and wisdom to apply this simple, yet often neglected character trait, however taking time to implement it in your daily life just may be a stepping stone to reconnecting with others, one random act of courtesy at a time.

 

 

 

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Why You Need Start Letting Go

Why Do We Choose To Stay In Relationships Where There’s No Respect?

Having a loving and committed relationship is dependent on the essential ingredient of respect. Too many times I’ve either made compromises personally or listened to a friend recount their tale of disrespect in their relationship. So why is it so hard to let go of something we know is not deserving of our time, or energy?

This afternoon I got a call from one of my most cherished friends. I wish that she would see herself this way, as I have been hearing the sound of her heart breaking in this toxic relationship that she’s been in for 9 1/2 years. It all comes down to respect. You see in her situation, she continually holds on to this relationship in the hope of something changing for the better. She is trusting, loyal, genuine, and authentic in everything she does, except when it comes to dealing with herself.

Find Your Power And Switch It On

It’s hard to be the friend who can see how amazing someone is, and watch them work hard to feed their constant ‘validation monster’ only to find that the appetite of the ‘monster’ they are trying to feed, is insatiable. For years I’ve been listening to this friend deal with how her disrespectful partner continually sidelines her due to his money, love of women, and constant need to validate himself. He always gets away with it with her, and as soon as he’s found out, he comes crawling back with his lies, even when there’s proof, denying all the way.

You guessed it, he’s a gaslighter. Highly manipulative, self-seeking, and a liar. Much like¬† in the 1944 film, Gaslight, wherein the wife is driven mad on account of her husband’s manipulations, so my friend has been driven to a sort of madness that has her becoming the one needing validation. It’s as if he has switched her ‘self-respect’ power button to the off position and she just can’t figure out how to turn it back on. It doesn’t matter what I say at this point. I’ve resigned myself to the ever-enduring art of listening without judgment. Until she realises her own worth, I’m afraid I’ll just be a sounding board.

Why Is It So Hard To Let Go?

After investing your time, energy, and money into something for a long period of time, there should be some fruitful reward, no matter what you’ve invested in. It’s not so easy to let go of a unfruitful dream venture, let alone the ‘love of your life’. At some point though, the ‘self-respect’ power button has to be switched on and your own self-worth accounted for, especially if you are in a relationship where there are children involved.

Staying in a relationship where you’re constantly questioning yourself and being undermined in your worth is not acceptable for anyone. There is no excuse for this abuse, and that is what it is, abuse. While this may be true, it can be crippling to try and take the first steps to freedom. Realising you’re worth more than a diamond mine filled to the brim with precious stones, is the first thing to tick off your list.

It Takes A Village

It’s time to push the reset button in your own head to break out of this cycle of disrespect. It can’t be done alone in most cases, so now’s the time to start trusting and leaning on your friends and family.

Find the one precious person who knows you and has been your sounding board through it all, and let them in. I mean really let them in, and then lean on them. You know the person I’m talking about, the one who has tried to support your attempts to salvage things, even when they thought you were nuts. It’s not too late.

Most importantly, give yourself space to breathe, to grieve, to heal, and to fall down again. You’ve got to work at rebuilding trust in yourself again after dealing with letting someone in who did a number on both your heart and your head.

Finally, don’t look back as you take your first steps to freedom. Looking back means that you’re still stuck in ‘what could have been’, instead of looking forward to ‘what could be’. Afterall, your life is more precious than rubies, and it’s time for you to shine.

life, Uncategorized

The Friendship Collective

What Is A Friend?

If you Google the question “what is a friend?” you’ll find an interesting definition. Google defines “friendship” as “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.” However, isn’t this a little vague?

Friendship can’t be limited or defined in a simple definition. The art of curating a true friendship is more than just having a mutual affection for another person. True friendship entails acceptance, kindness, respect, and an abiding willingness to support someone, even if you don’t agree with their choices.

So how does one cultivate a collective of real friends in this digital age of so-called “friends” and “followers” on social media etc.?

Making Wise Choices

When we first learn to about friends, it often comes with the advice to choose wisely. I cannot tell you the amount of not so wise choices I’ve made across my life when it came down to deciding who to spend my time with; however, I’ve gleaned so much wisdom from my mistakes and now pass this on to my children.

It’s vital to invite relationship into our lives, especially friendship, as good friends enrich and enliven our world. But choosing the right fit for your “friend collective” isn’t easy and often comes with some heartache when you experience disappointment. So how do you gather the perfect “friendship collective”?

Love, Listening, and Sacrifice

These three words are the cornerstone of any good friendship. Without love, you cannot listen with empathy, without empathy, you won’t be prepared to sacrifice when it’s needed most. To truly love someone, you need to do more than just nod your head in conversation. To sacrifice you need to be willing to put your needs aside from time to time, to give your time, your belongings, and especially your heart.

How Many “Followers” Equals A Friend?

Personally, I’m not excited by the number of “friends” and “followers” I have on my social media accounts. I know that they are just people, some random visitors who like what I have to say, and a few whom I would count as my “real” friends.

I find it tragic to see people sitting beside someone, yet lost in technology, and still striving to cultivate ‘relationship.’ Just being in the presence of a person does not build a connection. It’s time to put the phone aside, silence the notifications, and look up at the person with whom you’ve chosen to share that moment.

Building relationship through conversation, experience, and authentic engagement can only happen when we are fully present with someone. The numbers of “followers” and “likes” you have may be in the hundreds or thousands, but how many of those “connections” would actually take a moment to enquire about your well-being on any given day?

The Challenge

Today I challenge you if you have read this, and it resonated with you, to make a list of people whom you consider “friends.” Choose wisely, and carefully. Now take this list and share this post with those whom you’d like to spend more time cultivating your relationship. If you’re not prepared to love them unconditionally, listen to them attentively, and sacrifice for them without inhibition, then move to the next person on your list. You may only end up with two or three people, but you’ve made a declaration to yourself about your commitment to them.

Those who respond will be the ones who share your new friendship values, and this is the way to build a firm foundation for your “Friendship Collective.”

Love, Nina xx

life, Uncategorized

Letting Go Of Other’s Responsibilities

Just Say No

As I sit here gazing at my son’s IPad that he left at home, I have a niggling reminder of the little task that he requested of me while on the way to school today. “Mum, can you bring it at lunch?”

While on most days we are all bleary eyed as we muddle through the morning trying to make sure we get out the door on time, whose responsibility is it to bring the forgotten items to their owner?

Truly I say to you, I don’t have one bit of regret that I’m still looking at the IPad long after lunchtime has passed. I didn’t say that I would bring it, in fact, quite the opposite. I told him simply that it was his responsibility to make sure that he had what he needed for the day. Relief swoons over me as I feel that I made a wise parenting choice. So how does this translate to the rest of our lives, where the lines may be a little blurred in terms of where responsibility lies, and how much we should take ownership of.

Putting On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

For me, it’s coffee before even putting in my contact lenses. It doesn’t matter if I can see, I just need to smell the chocolatey, nutty aroma of my cup of joe before I can breathe.

The airlines coined this advice of putting on your own oxygen mask first before you help others for good reason. If you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone, and that’s that. This means that you need to take care of yourself, in whatever way you need to, first.

Today I’m just doing nothing. As far as my regular responsibilites are concerned, the bare minimum is all I can manage today, and I’m o.k with that. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the sterling pictures of efficiency everyday. So once in a while, get up, get your oxygen mask (in my case coffee), and put it on before you do anything else. You’ll be much better for it!

xx Nina