Tuesday, December 1, 2009

...you be the Judge!

As I begin my graceful aging process (cough, hack, choke), I realize how much more reflective I have become. And, how acutely aware I am of some of the crap that comes out of the mouths of some individuals. What I believe has happened in this particular growth stage of mine, is that I no longer find any of this mindless gutter tripe humorous any more. Not that I ever really did. I just basically ignored it, associating it with the brains that spawned it. Even as I sit here thinking about what is on my mind, I think about the hypocrisy behind my own thoughts. Here I am, knowingly thinking about the ignorance of certain people, but in a way, being just as ignorant. How can you really put an end to it?

Today I was in a meeting where a good chunk of the time was spent by some of these individuals making comments about, well, pick something and I'm sure they covered it. As our time for the meeting was coming towards a close and were waiting for somebody to return, one of those in attendance asked me what I thought about the meeting. And, as is known to happen from time to time, I said aloud what I was thinking. What I said was, “I think we would get a lot more accomplished if we spent less time taking peoples inventory.” Needless to say, it did not illicit any laughs. Not that I was looking for any.

But it did weigh heavy on my mind for the rest of the day. When you work in a small office environment, things between people are a lot tighter. Especially when you are a relative newbie, like me. Although I have been around some of these folk for many years, it has only been about a year since I have been kinda sorta full time around them. A couple of the people I work with are younger and I guess, you expect certain things from them. Except, these are educated people who should know better. At least I think they should. See what I mean... judgmental or what? But when I see them taking on the characteristics of older, set in their ways kind of people, it scares the hell out of me. The more they act this way, the more everybody believes it is the norm.

It kind of makes me wonder, “what gives them the right to make such comments about people they have never even met?” To even talk about people as though they have walked in their shoes. Hardly! To be honest, what gives any of us the right to talk about anybody as though we were so superior to them. I think some of the most courageous people I have ever met are the ones that say the least. They wear their skin on the outside and their pride on the inside. They are the ones that become oblivious to the ill spoken rantings of ignorance and yet feel more empathy towards those who spew such ignorant venom. Sometimes, you can tell who they are. They are the people who smile at you with their eyes and hide the pain in their hearts.

I have heard things said of clients, colleagues and people who actually pay our bills. The things said and sometimes, the violence in which it is stated, even in jest, is a scary testament towards the society in which I now find myself living. How do we know that these people may have other things on their mind. Perhaps they are worrying about a loved one who is terminally ill. Or perhaps they are even ill themselves and are going through their own personal nightmares. When I sit back and reflect upon what I witness, I wonder if these individuals are just projecting their own insecurities upon those who don't even know they are being maligned. I guess to them, it is easier to cast the first stone. Maybe they should be worrying about why their own reflections are covered in muck so foul that they can no longer see the stairway to their souls.

In a few short weeks, we will be celebrating yet another Christmas, each in our own special way. Some of us will be fighting crowds of people looking for that must have gift for that special someone. Our tempers may be a tad on the short end and our thoughts may not exactly be reflective of the season. We may be fighting a mild illness as we become drawn into close quarters with thousands of others out there looking out for their own interests. I figure, if we give those around us the benefit of the doubt, perhaps too, they may be charitable with us as well. As I think about all that I have witnessed and basically ignored for so long, I wonder which of us is the worst example to our neighbour. Those who find it necessary to speak ill of them, or me, for not being courageous enough to stand up for those who are not there to represent themselves. I'll tell ya' what....you be the Judge!


Natalie said...

Both. If you have a beef, say it, work through it, move on.
If you see harm being perpetrated, speak up,move on.

These are my beliefs....having stated them, however, they always seem to come back and bite me.
People don't generally understand me......


Don't listen to me. xx♥

smiles4u said...

I think both...I think all of us are guilty of not speaking up when really we should. I think we have to decipher when it's best we keep our mouths shut and when we really do need to sum up the courage to speak up. I am guilty of letting fear keep me from speaking. I am also guilty of speaking when I really should just keep my lips shut.

Our human nature is to pick up stones and throw them at one another or at least in one anothers direction when the other isn't there. It's easier to see the speck in someone else's eye then in our own. When I hear people talking or taking inventory of someone that is not present, I believe that they talk like this in order to look better themselves and because it's so much easier to tear someone down then it is to look at themselves.

Great thoughts my friend...I wish I had more time but must run out the door. Happy hump day to ya....love and hugs....Lori

Michelle said...

I think we need to choose our battles Bogey.
Those who judge, I find, will always get theirs....that is the nature of karma or whatever you want to call it.
Other peoples opinions are like assholes as they say, everybody has one......
and what goes around always comes around.
The world is a strange place

ms toast burner said...

"Except, these are educated people who should know better. At least I think they should. See what I mean... judgmental or what?"

I don't see that as judgmental. I see that as you expecting better from people.

People should know and should do better but... and there's no polite way of putting it... some people are just ignorant, knuckle-draggin' arses. ;-)

If I feel that speaking out against various hues of BS can have an affect, then I do and I have. But sometimes I think it would be easier to herd cats than to spark an ounce of empathy or social intelligence in some people.

Humans, eh? Beam me up, Scotty!

Bogey said...

Natalie, like Michelle said, sometimes you have to pick your battles. And sometimes, you have to step back and maybe go after the leaders. I don't think making a scene would have solved anything...at least not in this case.

Lori, if we choose to be, we can be our own best judges. It starts when we can recognize what we are saying and to whom. Then, ask ourselves whether we would like to be treated like that. When I have stepped back and listened clearly it was then that I decided to take another path.

Michelle, you are right of course. About picking ones battles. Sometimes you have to start at the top. And do it quietly. Trying to out duel a bully doesn't always need an audience.

Marnie, sometimes I think taking on the cats would be a better battle. I guess I get a little angrier when I know that they are just trying to outdo each other in their nastiness. I'm glad you haven't lost your sense of humour.

Lori ann said...

Oh man, i am not a good judge. i am also the world biggest chicken, i usually just take myself out of such situations. unless its a child involved, then i am mother lion.
i wonder why can't people just be nice? so much energy goes into negative sometimes.
good post Bogey ☺

Nancy said...

Very good points made here. I think we need to have an impact on those around us - but sometimes that comes from not standing up - but by not joining in. Does that make sense? Could someone sitting there actually be noticing you are not joining in the mean-spirited talk? Maybe you make a difference to that one person, which makes a small difference in the world. Some will continue to massage their egos at the expense of others, but sometimes just one will step back and see things differently. It may not happen in the meeting - but it may happen later.

I agree with Lori, however, standing up for someone helpless is an absolute.

TechnoBabe said...

Something happened to me a long time ago that made it crystal clear to me that I did not want to be in the inner circle of people talking ill of other people. That hard lesson gave me the strength to be able to say "I am not in this conversation, I don't want unkind things being said about me so I don't want to even in the group who talks about someone else". Something to that effect. Didn't always make me Miss Popular, but the alternative thought of hurting someone's reputation or worse hurting their feelings made the loss of popularity just fine with me. I say hooray for you that you have reached a place in your inner growth that it matters to you what the depth of a conversation is and the content of the wasteful spewing of horrible words belittling other people is no longer tolerable to you.

Amel's Realm said...

I've also been wondering about giving the benefit of doubt versus knowing which people we should be wary about.

I learned from my SIL when I visited my family in Indo that a guy came by months ago that turned out to be a liar...he perhaps did some hypnotist act on my parents. My Dad should've been more wary about him, but he let that guy inside our house. Good thing he only got a little money and didn't take valuable things from our house - perhaps 'coz their maid wasn't hypnotised and she was inside the house, too.

I know what I've written down is not the same as what you wrote down...but anyway, I just want to share. :-))) I just hope God sends his angels so that whenever we meet "bad" people who are out to do bad things either behind our backs or right in front of us, we're aware of them - but I hope I can also give the rest the benefit of doubt.

Bogey said...

Lori Ann, when you work with some of these individuals and have even called them a friend, it really is hard to look them in the eyes anymore. I can almost understand peoples petty grievances from time to time, but when it becomes routine and at somebody elses expense it definitely makes you scratch your head. At times I guess we can all be considered a chicken. How else can you deal with these things. In my brain I can write the most elaborate speech to deal with these situations but of course, if the time came to give it, would I have the nerve? Time will tell I guess.

Nancy, that is exactly how I felt as I sat there quietly and did not chime in. But sometimes I think that that is a cowards way out. But in a way I guess, it is still a step in the right direction. Standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves goes without saying. It was also one of the reasons I lost a job.

TechnoBabe, sometime I wonder what does go on behind my back when I leave the office. How many judgements are made about me by people who have no right to say anything. Sometimes it gives me the creeps. It kind of stands to reason why I am extremely cautious about what I share in terms of my own life. No sense giving anybody ammunition.

Amel, sometimes some of the worst people we meet are the ones who can look us directly in the eye while they are lifting our pocket book. It just means we have to deal with each situation on the basis of the information that we have. Some people just find it easier to cast judgement as opposed to review their own images.

Renee said...

Boy what an excellent post and what an interesting question.

I think they are both bad in there ways.

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog.

I see that you are one of the people that is a blessing to have as a friend.

Thank you.

Renee xoxo

lakeviewer said...

You know when to speak, you know when to keep quiet. Standing up for those who can't takes courage and backbone.

Renee said...

Have a peaceful day tomorrow.


Bogey said...

Thank you Renee, I appreciate your kind and generous comments. And yes, I do plan on having a peaceful day. I hope you do too!

Rosaria, sometimes it is difficult to know whether the timing is right to do one or the other. It depends on the situation I suppose.