Beside You

What I’ve learned is that all of my blog postings will be inspired by my Ethnic Relations teacher. Really great teacher, really smart guy. It’s a darn shame that I have to miss the last hour of his class to attend the next one as per the schedule of doom.

Today we discussed the difference between a reaction & a response.

I always tell my 5yo that for every reaction there is an equally as powerful reaction. Perhaps I should change that, as I’m not a reactionary person. I respond.

A reaction is a sudden, often negative, lash. Those who respond to a statement with rage, insults & then claim their target “asked for it.” After all, if we blame our victim, it stifles the guilt.

A response is something carefully constructed, something that needs to be said, something that the person has taken the time to think about before speaking.

My prof said “Those who know themselves respond, those who hate themselves react.”

This makes a lot of sense, because someone self-aware isn’t really shocked by someone critiquing them. If you told me I was a neurotic, overachieving, hypersensitive, talkative, pain in the ass, I would likely agree, because its well…true. The person who hates themselves can’t stand it when someone points out their flaws, or what they’re doing that isn’t kind. They lash out, often cruelly, often towards the person who loves them most. After all, they’ll just forgive you when you’re done being angry & they asked for it, right?

During his own time as a student, my prof was required to spend a half hour doing nothing. No music, no talking, just sitting with his own thoughts. It helped him become self aware. Perhaps we should all do this once a day. I would even suggest asking yourself the following questions:

1. Who am I?
2. Do I like who I am?
3. Do I like who I’m becoming?
4. How do I treat people?
5. How do others view how I treat people?
6. If someone treated my child as I treat people, how would I feel?
7. How do people react/respond to me?
8. What do I want most out of life?
9. What would my current actions dictate about me/what I want?
10. What do I need to change to be who I want to be?

Perhaps if we are accountable to ourselves, we will become the person we should be, not the person we turn out to be, because we let our demons control us, make us hate ourselves. It’s half an hour of perspective & perhaps we all need it so we can learn stronger interpersonal relationships. I know I could use some perspective. Why not do it & get to know yourself? Maybe you’ll find out that you can be your own best friend.