Strong Darjeeling black tea with a pinch of cardamom and home-made date-nut pound cake adorn my breakfast plate this morning, as I begin my weekend. Not a bad start, if I may say so myself. I have been having a series of good weeks lately. No, I don’t believe in jinxes. I’ve worked hard for this life and I intend to enjoy it fully, in my own way. Which brings me to the reason for this post. I want to confess something to the world. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m not your average cup of tea. I’m bold yet delicate, intensely flavored and you bet I have a chip on my shoulder! I don’t expect everyone to like me and why should they? Some days, I can be demanding and I feel like I have every right to be. Some people, I just don’t like no matter how hard they try, but, I do my best to tolerate them. For some others, I will move mountains. I will open my heart readily for them and go above and beyond because I WANT TO. They are my chosen ones and I’ve no qualms about owning every inch of them.
I’m not a fan of rules in life… I think they are society’s way of keeping us in our respective boxes, making us feel guilty for being, feeling, wanting to be different. These boxes come in various sizes, but depending on your age, wealth, status in life, you are allowed some latitude. I’ve had one rule all my life: Be kind. I will openly tell you, this has done nothing for me, yet, it is something I strive for. I’m drawn to kind-hearted people like a moth to a flame. These are people who never utter an unpleasant thing, always mindful of the other’s point of view. They are in no way boring or common… quite the opposite actually, they are fascinating, highly evolved human beings with such elegance. They beg to be noticed and I can’t wait to be around them. We can all think of one or two people who might fit this definition, but rarely can we identify with them totally. They are wonderful examples to emanate and pontificate: what would ________ do?
Sadly, the majority of us are, for lack of a better word, still human. If you are like me, trying to be nice to a rude coworker or trying to come up with a kind way to tell that foul-mouthed friend to shut his/her trap, let me share a few things I’ve learned along the way.
1. Bullies need to be hit in their mouth before they get a chance to speak.
Whoa, kindness doesn’t spring to mind when you read this, but, I’m purposely starting with some heavy stuff here. We’ve all been in that situation when you know… it’s just a matter of time before someone hits a raw nerve. When your loud mouth friend is going to make the same tired joke about your hair or lack thereof. YAWN! So, why not let the air out of their tank by making that bald joke first? It’s all in how you say it… just remember that you are preemptively trying to douse a situation not start a new fire. Don’t make it personal and your point will be made.
2. Don’t be afraid to call a pig a pig.
This is a bit tricky because if you don’t do it right, you will come across as being petty, childish and immature. It requires
a bit, a lot of self-composure and poise. Ladies, this is especially for you. The next time someone makes an inappropriate comment about the size of your boobs or your butt, just look them in the eye and use these words,” Wow, I had no idea you were so disgusting. I’ve learned something new about you today!” and watch their jaw drop. You will succeed in achieving this result only if you steady your voice, not rush the words and maintain your cool especially afterwards. People tend to sulk or get real nasty after their game is squashed. Don’t take the bait. Your point has already been made.
3. You can’t win ‘em all.
If you find yourself in a hostile situation where no amount of charm will work, do yourself and everyone else a favor and just leave. This is not the time or place to stand your ground and prove your point. Maturity comes from knowing when to live and let live and how to pick your battles. Don’t let your pride lead to your ultimate demise. Live to fight another day and walk away gracefully. Just be yourself and worry about the people who know you best, truly understand you and can (and will) vouch for your character when it matters. The rest of the world’s opinion can continue to exist in a parallel world all its own, blissfully separate from yours.
I’m far from perfect, but I have a good sense about who I am and what I’m worth. I’m not some kind of weakling because I’m kind and generous towards a chosen few, just like I’m not an arrogant bitch because I’m assertive and loud-spoken towards certain others. I’m not trying to win Ms. Congeniality these days, but I do want people to think, wow, she’s one tough cookie! She handled that with class.
I will continue to find refined ways to solve life’s raw dealings and seek spirits with normal functioning faculties instead of those manufactured for space cadets. Kind people of the world… come find me! Don’t flash me your signs of peace and liberty. Instead, let us embrace with mutual respect as one family, knowing that we can change the world with the curl of our smiles and without ever raising our voices.