Friday, March 20, 2009

Trying again (and again)

When I mentioned my attempt at niceness last night at SnB, the ladies asked, "why?" And you know, I didn't really have a good reason other than I'm tired of being annoyed and angry all the time. I am so quick to cuss these days that I did it in the office today without a thought and didn't realize there was a child present. Shame on me. There was a time in my 20's when it took a good deal of cajoling to get me to swear even a little. These days I could make a prison guard blush with some of the things that come out of my mouth.

Today, SuperForester Carla wrote a post about spreading the "Humanifesto." I'll be honest, I love me some SuperForest and Jackson, you are a doll, but I never actually read the Humanifesto*. I skimmed. I missed the whole point. Thank you, Carla, for bringing it up again. I read it three times in a row from beginning to end and now--NOW--I understand why I wanted to be nice, why it was important to me. Because, as Jackson said, "if we all started treating the people and things that we interact with every day with respect and compassion, the effects would ripple through every aspect of our lives, transforming society." Is it really as simple as "do unto others"? It could be. This is what the Humanifesto boils down to--good manners vs. bad manners. I'll let Team SuperForest explain it:

"Three Essentials:

  1. Make eye contact with anyone you interact with. Smiling is optional but highly encouraged.
  2. Use the words “Please” and “Thank You” as often as you can.
  3. Seek out ways to improve the lives of others. This can be as small as carrying someones bag up a flight of stairs, or holding a door open.

Do these three things and your life will change immeasurably. And you will begin to change the lives of those who come into contact with you in a measurable and positive way."

So, yeah, I tried again today and I'll do it tomorrow. And maybe, eventually, I'll stop being so easily annoyed, so impatient, so reliant on harsh language** and become a more pleasant person to be around. That's my goal.

*Don't be angry with me, Jackson. I'm making you a pretty hat, remember? It'll be done just in time for warm weather but hey, think of the fresh new hat you'll have next winter.

**I reserve the right to drop the f-bombs when truly and thoroughly pissed off because sometimes, it's the only thing that relieves the frustration. "Rats" just isn't going to cut it.


Ellen Bloom said...

I've tried to live my life as close to this Humanifesto as possible. I have noticed that when I smile at a store clerk, they treat me much better and maybe do some extra stuff for me.

Thanks for the reminders, Pollyanna!

carla said...

Wow! Amazing how coincidences like that just line up for us. I'm glad the reminder helped you out and has inspired you the way it continues to inspire me on a daily basis. It's an incredible piece of writing, I'm hoping to see it hung up in random public spaces. That'd be awesome! Best of luck in your endeavors for self-improvement, I know it can be tough but based off of what I've just read, you sound like an incredible person (with awesome knitting skills? That's just a guess based off of the hat comment, but maybe you sew)who will surely find success in whatever she hopes to achieve.


MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

I dunno; maybe it's just me, and I don't mean to diminish said Humanifesto in any way, but I too follow those three essentials, generally, and have taught Le WMG to do the same, but that hasn't prevented me from *also* being a kinda cranky beeyatch. In short, unless you are an uber-centered 'bot, they aren't mutually exclusive. E.g., "Please go f*ck yourself."