Saturday, 28 February 2009

Being Smart

It's easy to be smart. Kind of smart.

It's so easy to call people names: the driver that makes you drive at a much slower pace you would choose by yourself, the colleague who does something a bit differently from what you wanted, your teacher or boss who tells you to do something that you don't really want. Or the members of your family for not reading your mind and doing some pretty unimportant thing or not doing it.

It is so darn easy! Easy to make comments, asking yourself who the heck they think they are and how they couldn't see there was a better way of doing things.

It's even easier when it comes to celebrities. In the spotlight, they are like live targets. They probably exist for us, ordinary people, to be able to let out all that energy that gathers in us somewhere and makes our hearts heavy. Thank God for those who create scandals so we can be horrified by them and righteous in the worst meaning of the word!

And if we want to say that we know better what should be done and in what way, there is one group of people that is really most handy: the politicians. Everybody knows what a mayor should be doing for the city, the president for the country and all the members of parties and different parliaments. We know how they should be doing it and, most of all, we all know how ridiculous the things are that they actually do.

I often wonder how come the things are going so wrong when there are so many smart people out there! Telling their opinions out loud as well-known facts, no matter how many arguments there are against them and feeling so confident that they will be admired for their wisdom.

It is much more difficult to listen. And to be quiet. And take your word back if you realize you are wrong. And not demand things you feel entitled to at any cost for others.

It's difficult sometimes - for some people even much more than for others - not to say out loud what makes you angry and what is bad, mean, wrong, disgusting or of any other negative quality. Yep! It's hard.

Just imagine a group of people eating dinner and one of them complaining about a dish they are all having. How can you enjoy your pizza when the person next to you comments on it all the time: it's too fatty, the dough feels like plastic, it's tasteless and does not resemble pizza at all? If you like it in the beginning, you would probably much rather eat in peace.

It's pretty much the same with everything else in life: the people you think are quite nice (yes, you know nobody is perfect) are said to be mean, envious and the worst hypocrites ever, the films you like are described as cheesy, average or simply trash, the products you are pleased with are not fancy enough. All that is said by people who believe they are so smart they have the right to judge everything and everybody. And the worst part: if they have audience - listeners AND readers, others learn from them and start doing pretty much the same.

In such an environment it takes some creativity and imagination (or simply some good will) to make a nice comment. Not to praise something bad, but to honestly say that you like something. Or that you think it's quite nice. It's good. Pleasant. Funny, sometimes - I'm a deep believer in funny - or well meant for deeds that went wrong. Because sometimes they are.

I'll finish this and go now. And I won't say a word - until I have something nice to say.


  1. I find it's sometimes much easier to criticize when we view the subject as something abstract instead of a living, breathing human being. Celebrities and politicians seem unreal since they are at a distance. Good post.

  2. Thank you! :D
    And yes, you have a point there.

  3. What helps me is to find out more about the human side of folks I disagree with so they aren't just figureheads or representatives of an abhorrent position. Hard to do, that. Religions like Buddhism and Christianity share an approach of active blessing of those we disagree with - that can break the illusion, too, that they aren't fallible humans much like ourselves. I wish the members of the United States current Congress would try that approach with each other!

  4. Yes, they and many others!
    I can agree to disagree without judging people for that. Of I'm arrogant, I can change - but only myself. The problem is that many people think they have the right o be like that. Do they?

  5. Somehow it seems that it's human nature to be very "vocal" about things we find disagreeable. I was thinking about that this past week when I filled out a comment card with 100% positive comments for the fantastic people who changed my oil and cleaned my car - being positive made me feel great. :)

  6. Totally agree with kelliebean.

  7. Yes, and being negative doesn't only affect others, but it also strikes back - it makes you feel bad when you say one bad thing ofter another. Many people don't realize that, but it's true.