Being Considerate Pays…

By D-Source 02/03/2011

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that it’s not about me. In fact, it’s about everyone else but me. The majority of the problems we face in Friendship; Love; Family and Business, are directly related to our amazing capacity, as Human Beings, to be selfish and our amazing inability or unwillingness to empathize with others.

In any relationship, rather it be Friendship;  Dating; Marriage; Family; Business or otherwise, each person or entity wants; desires; requires; deserves and/or needs certain things from the other. These things can include, but may not be limited to Respect; Appreciation; Reciprocation; Favors; Understanding; Compliments; Ego Boosting; Kindness; Consideration; Thoughtfulness; etc. Each person or entity, in their own way, have a personality. We know that people do, but even businesses take on the personality of the people who own and run them. They all hurt by the failure to receive the things they need; want; desire; require, etc.

For Example:

  • Let’s say I was raised in a home and environment that was conducive to me developing a slightly Low Self Esteem, therefore, my personality is such that I need a compliment on how I look, in order for me to enjoy myself going out with you. Your failure to offer that compliment, not only impacts me, but also you, if you want to go out with me again. Why would I go out with someone who I have a Low Self Esteem with, when I’m around them?  

My point, in this example, is that failure to give someone else what they want or need, can result in you not getting what you want or need. If you hate when people don’t return your phone calls; If I want your business, then I need to return your phone calls; even if I have other things I’d rather be doing. The choice is mine. I’ll either get the business or I will not, depending on the decision I make. It is amazing how many Business Owners and Managers choose to do something they’d rather be doing, instead of returning a Business Phone Call in a timely manner. This always amazes me!

Unfortunately, due to Selfishness, we all expect to get what we want, need and desire; however, we also, due to an inability or unwillingness to empathize (Put ourselves in the other person’s shoes), tend to only give what we want to or feel like giving. The problem with that is; if I need that compliment you refuse to give me, because you don’t think people should have to be complimented to feel good about themselves, then what makes me feel like giving you what you want, which is another date. Or when you need to borrow money two weeks later, what makes me want to loan it to you? Or let’s say you want to go to a movie and I want to watch Football. Well, if it’s the Superbowl, how likely am I to spend a ton of money on the Valentine’s Day Present you would love, If I am forced to miss the most important game of the year, to me? So on Valentine’s Day, which is important to you; I give you a small box of cheap candy, that you don’t like. You get mad at me for being inconsiderate, but fail to realize that you were inconsiderate about something that was important to me, just because it wasn’t important to you.

Do you begin to see what I’m getting at? What is important to each of us, may not be important to the other. But we must be able to treat what is important to others the way we want them to treat what is important to us. We must be willing to give, in order to receive. We must be able to give love, in order to receive love. We must give respect, in order to receive respect back. We must be able to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and consider what they want; need; desire; would like to do; would like to go; would like to receive or would not like, prior to making our decisions. And the more we make decisions based on the other people we interact with, the more we tend to get what we want, need and desire, in return. Who wants to help somebody who never helps anybody else? Who wants to loan money to anyone who will never loan anyone else money?

The Golden Rule says that we should “Do unto others, as we would have them do unto us.” If I am a Husband who would not like my Wife to stay out half the night without calling me and letting me know what is going on; then I need to understand that my Wife may not like me doing the same. If drinking the last bit of my orange juice bothers me; then it will probably bother other people if I take the last little bit of change they have on their dresser and spend it.

Now this all may sound like common sense, at first glance. But if we all take a close and honest look at our own selves and our own lives, we can either point at ourselves or others in our lives who just don’t get it. Think about your friends, family and business associates, who demand that we show up on time, yet, they are always late when we want them to be on time. But how do we their behavior. Well, it is difficult to get an Adult whose personality has been set since childhood to, suddenly, understand this philosophy, but you can try pointing them at this article. You can also educate children, beginning at an age when they are still impressionable and mold-able. And we can all make a change within ourselves, if we truly buy into this philosoph and truly want to, by simply developing the skill of Empathizing. It’s a simple concept, yet, it is easier said than done.

The reason it is easier said than done, is because of Selfishness. Selfishness is one of the instincts we were all born with, which is required for Self Preservation and must actually be untrained. It is easy to see it in children who have not had their Selfishness untrained, because they won’t share their toys or anything they have. This is part of what we call Morals, Values & Ethics Education. Kids must be taught that Selfishness is bad. If we don’t, they will be selfish their entire lives; in their relationships, with their money, with their time and so on…

As Adults, we all still have a degree of Selfishness in us. What that degree is; is based on how well our Selfishness was untrained as children. Deep down, we all want our way, when we want it and we want all of it, how we want it and on time. We don’t want to do anything we don’t want to do and want to take our time about it. We don’t want to rush for anybody, but everyone else needs to hurry up and do what we want or need. So it is all to convenient and easy to ignore the fact that what you are doing or not doing, would anger you; if someone else was doing or not doing the same thing. I recommend reading that last statement again.

So how do we make that change within ourselves? The answer is that we must make a conscious effort to put ourselves in the shoes of everyone else, before we make all of our decisions. For some, this is easy to do. But for most, these days, due to poor and inadequate Morals, Values & Ethics Education in our schools, neighborhoods, homes and businesses; it is not so easy. We are not having our Selfishness untrained. But if we are able to make a conscious effort to think before we act and to apply The Golden Rule, then we can make decisions based on the other people, businesses and organizations we deal with, instead of based on our own wants, needs and desires. Of-course, when we do that, we end up catering to the wants and needs of others all the time, as we neglect our own. However, the benefit is that many others will tend to respond more favorably to giving us what we want, need and desire, in return. The result is a Wife who stops nagging and who respects her Husband’s wishes and who boosts his ego the way he likes it boosted, because he is thoughtful when it comes to doing nice things for her or  because he is keeping the house clean the way she likes it. He gets what he wants, because he gives her what she wants. And who is unhappy? That’s right, no one! An interesting, yet simple concept.

In the end, it’s all about being considerate. And being considerate pays. But can you do it? And are you willing to? It’s up to you….

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For information on the importance of Morals, Values & Ethics Education in our schools, neighborhoods, homes and businesses, please visit our Education Page, which is at the top of our Home Page, on this Blog. And of-course, your opinions are welcome. Agreement is not required on this blog.

Thank you!

Filed under: Authors, Children, D-Source, Education, Philosophy, Relationships, The "Let's Change the WORLD" Movement, Unlimited Education for Our Children | Posted on February 3rd, 2011 by DSource4U

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