I’m still glad I got my undergraduate degree in psychology because frankly, that education is something I can apply to every area of my life. At some time or another, it’s helped me in every area of life and it continues to. But I don’t regret foregoing the higher education and the original life plan because frankly, I think I’d be ill suited to be a therapist. I thought it would be a great way to
help people, but if there’s one thing that the 16 years since college graduation taught me, it’s that people won’t change unless they are internally motivated to do so. That usually comes from one of two things: the threat of losing something they don’t want to live without, or a court order (and those are violated often (and frequently enough that I’m thinking about taking that off the list). Usually, when people break down and seek guidance for things, they either want a pill to fix them nice and quick, or an excuse to stay exactly the way they are and demand that the world accommodate them. As if that’s going to happen.
I know this sounds cynical, but people thought I was an idealist when I was younger. They should be happy to hear such an admission out of me. Few people would have the guts to go on an open forum like the Internet and say yep, you were right on
that one. The idealism isn’t 100% gone, though, because there are still some things that, to this day, blow up my brain. I just don’t get it, and no amount of talking is helping me to understand the logic behind some things such as:
1.People that “let it fly,” then complain about being lonely. I’m not saying to sugar coat everything because that’s fake and ridiculous, but every word that flies through your brain doesn’t need to fly out of your mouth either. The problem is; people don’t give a crap about what you think 99% of the time, and the other percent it’s only to get your agreement, money, support, or vote. Truth is fine but you have to deliver it with discernment. If you just say what you think, unedited, then people are going to avoid you because you come across as rude, and everybody responds better to respect than to criticism. Building and maintaining relationships means you have to at least act like you care, even if you don't care anymore about them and their problems than the extra 40 minutes in a Martian day.
2. Envy and jealousy. Folks, I’ve known people that have married, moved, bought high ticket items and ruined their finances because they simply couldn’t stand the fact that someone had something that they didn’t (or had something newer, bigger, or better than they had). Then they got depressed and angry when it didn’t work out for them. Usually, that failure came from not being willing or able to do the work that goes with having the prize. Then again, I remember hearing Joyce Meyer say once that if you put yourself in a place that the Lord doesn’t mean for you to be, then it’s up to you to keep yourself there. That’s tough, but there’s another reason I don’t understand this: if you have time to fixate on what other people have, then you aren’t investing enough into making your own life the best it can be. Sure, you should care about and support other people, but your primary focus should be on taking care of and growing the talents the Lord provided to you, not on what He gave to other people. Work with
what you’ve got and if He means for you to have it, He’ll bring it to you in the best timing – and give you what you need to keep you there.
3.People that are sure they’re better than everybody else. I like what C.S. Lewis said about “a good man knows he isn’t good because he can see his badness. A bad man thinks he’s great guy because he can’t see his badness.” Before you say “it’s not personal, it’s just business,” I’ll be bold enough to tell you that’s absolute crap. I’ve worked at different places and I can tell you from recent experience that people are not like that everywhere. There are good, honest people working hard to do what’s right and succeeding at it. I’ll go further and say that I’m fortunate enough to work with an entire group of them. Acting like you’re king or queen of the world isn’t commanding respect, it’s arrogant and makes you look like an insecure fool. Please, get over yourself before you sprain something sticking up your nose at people. There will always be people in authority over you. You gain more by working hard and being dependable than having attitude and playing games. Because folks, nobody wins all the time and if you play games, you'll eventually lose.
4.Know it alls. You know the type I mean. There’s always somebody around that has seen it all, heard it all, and done it all – and probably bigger, better and more recently than you did. I have to admit that these types are a paradox to me. The pompous attitude is infuriating, but they also amuse me greatly because through all that big talk I know that a jack of all trades is a master at none. I’d rather know a few things well then know nothing well at all, but I guess some people don’t feel the same way. Anyway, the Bible says that King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, so give it up. You aren’t him and nobody knows everything under the sun. It seems to me that people respect humility over knowledge any day. And nobody likes a know it all.
5.People that use the telephone as a surrogate brain. This was the #1 reason why we (and many others, I hear) gave up our land line. The amount of time wasted by dealing with unnecessary phone calls is ridiculous. There are people that feel like they need to make a telephone call every time they have a thought. There are other people that feel like they need to make a telephone call every time a question pops in their head. There are some that do both. And this is what makes the telephone the #1 most abused thing in human history. I hope that Alexander Graham Bell isn’t still in purgatory answering for why he created something that has incrementally decreased human intelligence over the years because I know he didn’t mean for it to come to this. But I take heart in knowing that the abuse of this tool is offset by the greatest things that have been invented since the telephone: Ignore buttons and “do not disturb” mode. If only every telephone were required to be equipped with these!
6.Basketball. I sent out tweets and posts on Facebook in the fall asking people “do you like basketball?” I don’t, but I was just wondering because the last people I heard admit to liking it were of my grandparents generation. The request was largely ignored, but the few responses I got were a resounding “no!” So why is it all about March Madness now? Hello? I thought people didn’t like basketball?
Hmm. Maybe I should have been a therapist because I could charge these people by the hour to explain themselves to me. As it is, all I can do is avoid them when I can and take notes to put them in my next novel when I can’t. But who knows? I have several books published and if I keep writing then this will all work out okay anyway.
As for the basketball thing, I don’t know. Maybe that’s something else to add to the list of crazy that I am. But at least I know it’s a strange thing about me. That’s the one thing about having a psychology degree. Other people think you’re always analyzing them, but the truth is that you spend more time analyzing yourself. And there’s no hiding from what you know is out of whack there!
I hope you enjoyed this silly musing on reality. Happy Friday to you. Take care and have a great weekend.