Tag Archives: being kind

No Meanies Allowed!

There are bad people in this world.

Really bad.

Then there are people like this, who are just demented and cruel, who enjoy inflicting emotional pain but would never have the balls to get physical about it.

Long story short?

“How it started depends on who you ask.  It escalated into frequent calls to police and personal protection orders against the Petkovs.

Besides posting disturbing photos on Facebook, the Petkov’s painted their truck with tombstones and placed a coffin in the back of the truck.  The truck was parked in front of the Rose family home.  The Petkov’s claim the truck is a decoration for Halloween.”

(From the Ron Savage  MyFoxNewsDetroit.com report that originally broke this story wide open.)

The Petkovs are the “nasty” neighbours. The Rose family includes 7-year-old Kathleen Edward, dying of Huntington Disease, daughter to the now-dead-from-Huntington’s Laura Edward (passed at age 24), and grand-daughter to Rebecca Rose, the owner of the home in question.

Now the Petkovs apologize. Sure, now. I don’t care how it started, there’s no justification for doing that to a dying seven-year-old.

That’s nature for you.

There are people like this out there. That’s reality. In the wild, mothers sometimes eat their young. It happens: Cruelty.

But it’s not the only thing that happens.

There’s more people out there who are sickened by this behaviour than those committing it, and it’s up to you to decide which group it is that gets your attention.

For every news story like this (and it IS “news” because it’s not typical, doesn’t happen often) there are dozens of stories of small but amazing acts of kindnesses that are being randomly committed upon every landscape on earth.

We are, in general, good people. We do, on average, help when help is needed. And, because we do, it’s technically not “news” often.

Sure, we fall apathetic and get distracted in our lives, but we usually jump up when the times require us to do so.

The reality out there is, violent crime is at its lowest levels in anyone’s memories.

Personal crime seems to occur less frequently, too.

Volunteerism is escalating.

Awareness on all sorts of issues has grown astronomically.

You see what you choose to see.

You’re surrounded by what you want to be surrounded by.

When you hear about stories like this, try to remember also that there are people who will go to amazing lengths to help strangers.

Every day, little kindnesses unfold, everywhere — not just the big stories, lots of little stories.

If you think the world is worse off, then what are you doing about it?

Just complaining? Feeling depressed? Giving in to your feelings?

Shut off the news. That’s your first problem. Read the news; don’t watch it.

Then, do something. Anything.

Buy someone on the street a lunch.* Every now and then I’ve got $5 I feel like spending on someone who looks legitimately hungry, and it’s the best money I spend all day when they appreciate it and genuinely smile.

But it doesn’t make the news.

When I make small talk on transit with what seems a lonely old person, their day brightens, they smile. That doesn’t make the news. When I see a parking enforcement officer down the block and some rundown car with an expired meter and I pop a quarter in to help a seemingly unwealthy person avoid a ticket, that, too, does not make the news.

They’re little things. It doesn’t take a lot to be kind in small ways.

Brightening another person’s day can often lift YOUR mood too.

There will always be people who don’t appreciate it. Sometimes the bought lunch gets scoffed at. You can’t SEE a meth or crack addiction right off, so you never know. Maybe the old person I get talking to is totally toxic and alone for good reason. It happens.

But when it works outweighs the fails.

It keeps me believing in us.

It keeps me respecting myself.

It keeps my focus on who we can be, not who some of us have devolved into.

And that’s how I prefer to think, the way I prefer to see us.

When it comes to how we are as a society, perspective is everything. Our history hasn’t been written yet, and you are not inconsequential in how it will unfold.

Good/Bad, you see what you want to see. Be the change you want. Live the cliche.

At times like these, the saying “pick your poison” has more relevance than ever. The happy “We Can Do It” juice, or are you more a “Life Sucks and Everyone’s Mean” on-the-rocks kinda person?

Choose. Then live it.

*Get high-calorie stuff.
Homeless folk generally don't have "vegan" tendancies, FYI.
Just sayin'.

Where are the manners?

Every now and then an email comes in that’s the exact right email for what’s going on in my life. That happened Friday. I’d had an incident earlier in the day that had me seething with rage, and his email hit right home. So, first, the email, then I’ll tell you what happened, and then you’ll get my two cents. Sounds like a plan, no?

I was wondering if there was a certain age where teenagers or adults realise that manners are important and can learn to appreciate them? Because I’ve been trying my whole life (I’m still a teenager, but still) to be a gentleman (opening doors for others, asking if the elderly need help, speaking politely, etc.) and to be helpful as much as possible, but it seems that it is not appreciated at all. So far throughout a few years of high school, I’ve tried to help others boost their marks with assistance on their homework, but they can’t seem to understand that others have morals and won’t cheat for them. (again, turning into a rant i suppose..)

I guess I’m really just sending this email to ask another’s opinion about manners and whether or not it is truly appreciated in today’s society. I’ve asked a few teenage girl friends and they say that it is good to have manners and it’s something important they look for, yet I see them going out with lowlife guys who are despicable and need to learn manners. Is this just a teenage thing to do that you overcome later on and realise it’s importance and learn to be grateful for it? Or is it completely dependant on the people’s standards they’ve set.

Now, what happened to me the other day was when I was riding over to my brother’s place. He and I live in absolute opposite ends of the city — he in the most northeastern section, I in the most northwestern section. I work smack dab in the middle, downtown, and between there and my brother’s is 30-square blocks of what’s essentially some of the poorest and most underprivileged in Canada. If you know where to avoid, you can go without ever seeing any of these people.

I don’t try to avoid it, I just go through. I always see really tragic things when I do and it keeps me appreciating the little I have. This time, though, I was stopped at a light and this old guy, about 70, was in a wheelchair, completely unable to use his hands, and could only pull himself forward using the toes on his right foot. He was literally moving about 2 feet a minute. Naturally, the light turned red with him in the middle of the street, and I got a solid green light to go. Meanwhile, he’s stopped, looks like he’s about to cry from exhaustion, just can’t go any further, and all these fucking people are walking past, ignoring him.

I was in a RAGE. I pulled my scooter over, got off, cursed, “You people ought to fucking help! Where the hell are manners gone?” Then I leaned over to the man and said, “May I push you across the street, sir?” And he went soft with relief. He just sighed, “Please?”

I had a bit of an argument with a couple punks on the corner after that, who seemed to think I was flaming them, and yeah, you know, I was. Just fucking standing there, doing nothing.

When I got over to my brother’s place, I saw my nephew standing there, and I sat him down. I said, “If you ever see a little old lady or a little old man who can’t get across the street or they’re taking too long, you HELP them. You hear me?”

I made sure he knew the distinction between “stranger danger” and helping a senior citizen who really does need the help. After all, that’s how I was taught.

In MY world, I was raised to help people. I was raised to give a hand and do the right thing. I was taught to say please and thank you, and I was told to hold doors open for others.

And I KNOW life moves fast, and I KNOW people are more rushed than they used to be. You know what? I don’t give a fuck. *I* find the time to still be polite. I find the time to thank people and make pleasant small talk. Why the hell don’t they?

So, kid, I say keep going. The thing about being a polite person and not behaving politely just because you’re not getting it in return is that you start to get bitter about it. It changes you. Cynicism finds you and apathy makes a home in you. Stay true to the person you are. Help others, be polite. You’ll one day be surrounded by a better class of people, by people who appreciate that in who you are. It will be a deciding factor on the kinds of engagements you’re invited to and the kinds of experiences you have. You’re still a kid, you’re in high school, and you’re stuck in a social world you have little say in. In a few years, that all changes.

I know I will not date a man who has no manners. I will watch how he behaves and treats others, and I’ll note whether he expresses gratitude for the little things I say and do for him, and if I don’t like what I see, I will walk.

Life’s too short to be with people who just don’t understand basic human decency. I figure that eliminates about 60% of the world from eligibility for my bed, but whatever. I’m fine with having high standards. Are you?

The Fantasy Business

The guy is asleep, about four feet to my left. He looks so different when he’s sleeping.

We were talking the other night and I told him I would have to start getting up before him for awhile on weekends, so I could write, as it’s really important to me. He understood, naturally, and began narrating, suggesting the above opening line as an opening line. I had different ideas in mind, naturally, but hey… I’m in the fantasy-fulfilling business, you know.

And maybe you don’t know it, but you are, too.

I was reading a certain high-profile sex blog yesterday in which another blog was mentioned, in both a positive and negative manner.* The former blog included a negative mention of the latter’s recent dismissal of her lover’s desire to come on her tits sometimes. The latter told her man he was “acting like an idiot,” and apparently he apologized, saying he was “horrified” with his behaviour.

Yeah. Right. Both myself and the voice of the former blog state that any notion of this guy truly being “horrified” is more hilarious than it is likely.

What is likely, though, is that she managed to, in one simple, fell swoop, dissuade her man from being anything but truly honest with her in the future. She more than likely made him feel like an idiot, though. Shame’s a killer in a relationship, and she’s going to come to regret that, whether she wants to admit it or not. Somewhere down the road, she’s gonna wonder where it all changed. Well, that’s the fulcrum there, baby.

Sex takes all kinds. We’ve all got strange little fantasies, although his wasn’t all that strange, nor really out of the norm at all. Far be it for me to suggest you do anything you’re uncomfortable with, but as far as fantasies go, allowing your guy to shoot his load on your tits isn’t exactly all that invasive.

Personally, I’ve admitted before that I’m not really into the above. Would I shut a lover down for asking? Jesus, no!

Your job, as a lover, is to listen to your partner’s wishes, dreams, and desires. That means, if they have a d-i-r-t-y fantasy, you should be listening to it. Do you have to partake? Absolutely not. But I don’t care if you’re the goddamned Queen of England – you have NO right to ridicule them or mock them for their wishes. Don’t you EVER think otherwise.

Deep down inside, I’ve always had this ridiculously stupid fantasy of having sex in an anti-gravity chamber. Yeah, loverboy and I are cracking the code for NASA and taking a field-trip. Right. (Although there was reportedly a hotel in Paris that offered the services once upon a world, if I recall correctly.) Still, I’ve thought of it more than once. It’s there, on that list, “Things I’ll do if the chance arises.” Mental note made, long, long ago.

Fantasies are what they are, and everybody has the right to them. Shutting down your lover for their wishes is akin to telling your kid they’re too stupid to be an architect. Who in the HELL do you think you are?

Don’t like the idea? Just say no. Tell them you understand why it might get them off, but you’re uncomfortable with performing that act. They’re not insulted, and you’ve made your point known. Peachy.

But in a perfect world, you’d grow the hell up, and realize that most of these things aren’t going to kill you, but they might take your lover to a place they’ve never been before. Now you decide. Do you want to be a selfish person, and just say no all the time, or do you want to explain that it doesn’t do anything for you, but you’re willing to indulge their desires, if it makes them happy, once in a blue moon?

Consider it like one of those strange food cravings we’ve all had: pickles and ice cream, a bacon & peanut butter sandwich, liver and onions. It’s not a regular part of our diet, but once in a frickin’ while you just can’t help yourself. There’s almost this shame behind it. I’m eating bacon with peanut butter. Just like that fat fuck Elvis. Is there a dire future with a toilet in front of me? We’re secretive about it. Guilt, guilt, guilt, baby, but GOD, it feels good.

Now, imagine you’re sitting there, dreaming of this sandwich, and in comes your lover, who’s always stated it’d make him/her ill to have one. And there they are, holding the sandwich with bacon cooked just the way you like it, on the best bread, with the best peanut butter, and they made it themselves. Now, I guarantee you, apart from just satisfying a craving, it’s gonna be the best fucking sammich you ever sank your teeth in. It’s a gift, it’s thoughtful, and completely selfless.

Like fulfilling any fantasy can be.

And let me say another thing: If you lord it over them (“see how generous I am? You owe me, you know,”) then you’re still a lousy lover, don’t kid yourself. It’s not about power or debt or superiority. It’s about just being there in a way that makes your lover feel a little more validated by you.

Hmm. And you know? Mine really does look a little different while he’s sleeping, and it’s time I returned to him.

Listen to your lovers. Indulge them sometimes. Never judge them. Always respect them. Is it really so fucking hard?

*I’d rather not give publicity to her in a negative way. She’s already getting slammed, and if she reads this, she’ll know it’s her.