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Archive for February, 2014

Tactics in Life: Counter-Measures to Arrogance

February 23, 2014 4 comments

I’ve been wondering about how to properly deal with people who are arrogant in particular and hard to please in general.  It then occurred to me to think back in my own life experiences of being that arrogant bastard that people had to deal with on one occasion or another, back in those “good old days,” of course.  I think I finally found the solution to deal with arrogant people by how other people dealt with my own arrogance (justified or not, it’s ultimately irrelevant) over the years.

The world does not owe anyone anything; even God does not owe us anything.  And yet there are many people who feel entitled to whatever the hell it is that they think they deserve to get.  They become jerks just to get what they want, forcing their agenda as they see fit, even if success doesn’t have to come at such a cost.  No matter how much you try to appease them, sometimes these people are never satiated, because they want more – and they seem to always demand more.

Nothing you say or do will ever please or satisfy another party who has made up his mind about you and simply doesn’t care anymore.  For what it’s worth, you can also play the same game he’s playing: You might as well not care if he’s pissed-off, too.

Have fun at the person’s expense.  If he’s irritated at you then give him more reasons to be irritated, and watch him rant and break down.  Make the person angrier, sit back and have fun in watching him stew in his own juices as he self-destructs.

There’s at least one major caveat in this approach: Self-destructive people tend to bring down others with them, in one way or another.  After all, sin is social in nature, no matter how private we might think it is sometimes; sin ultimately doesn’t just affect us but others also.  You can only hope that the arrogant fool generates enough visibility to the point that people who can do something about it will actually do something about it.  At the very least, he damages his reputation to a lot of people and burns enough bridges that eventually isolate him in the long run – and that will be the end of him.

More or less this is how God punishes sin also: He lets the consequences of our sin run its course.  God punishes those He loves, and He does that because He wants to correct and remove the evil we commit for our own good and the good of others.  The justice He dispenses is through allowing the destructive effects of our sin to run its course and thus giving us what’s our due for the sins committed.  Good parents do this for their children because they want them to be good people; this is all the more true with our Lord Who is our Divine Parent.  Attempts in helping the arrogant along faster by “encouraging” his arrogance only serve to hasten the consequences of his actions – though I’m sure this is NOT what our Lord had in mind.

That being said, the Christian thing to do is to point out the problem to the person, out of loving charity to let him know that what he’s doing is not good for him and for others.  Whether he actually accepts your correction is his choice to make.

There’s always a reason, perhaps some hidden pain that scars the depth of his heart, for someone to act the way he does.  Seek to understand what that pain is, and actually help to do something about it if you can, and not just judge.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5: 43 – 48).  Respond to arrogance with kindness and love.  It’s irrelevant if he has a change of heart if you treat him nicely; ultimately what’s more important is you love the person causing you grief just as God loves you despite your own weaknesses and imperfections.  In other words, be perfect as God is perfect.

For what it’s worth, you become a better man out of the experience in dealing with someone at his worst.  This is what you win when you deal with arrogant people in God’s way.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Life’s Still Moments

February 16, 2014 2 comments

Given that we only have a limited time in this world, this doesn’t mean that we need to fill every moment of our lives with busyness. There is value in the silent and still moments that life affords, if we choose to seek out such moments.

These still moments in life force you to reflect and confront any deep-seated fears and concerns. This can consequently be a very unnerving experience, which is why it might be preferable to fill one’s time with a lot of noise which serves as a distraction from the same. Nevertheless it’s important to stop and reflect every once in a while.

It’s in these moments of quiet where you can ponder about the issues that you can still do something about. It’s in these moments where you recognize those issues that you’ve tried to address, but eventually come to accept that you’ve pushed as far as you could, and so it’s now time to move on as appropriate. It might be convenient not to know what’s bothering you, for the answer can sometimes be very distressing. But knowing is better because it leads to either action or acceptance; this in turn eventually leads to closure and peace.

Embrace those moments of pause that life has to offer – and remember that you are not alone in facing whatever challenges lie ahead.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Tactics in Life: When There’s No Control, Take Things in Stride

February 16, 2014 9 comments

There are many things in life that are beyond our power. Oftentimes we have no control over the people, circumstances and events in our world, and the sense of helplessness can sometimes feel utterly frustrating.

Ultimately the only thing you can control is yourself, how you let or do not let something affect you and what you choose to do or do not do to deal with it. Try to step back from the emotionally charged moments that accompany such out of control situations, lest you do something stupid and regret it later, and try to frame the situation in terms that can help you decide how to act accordingly.

If the situation is something that in the end won’t really matter too much, then don’t waste your time on something insignificant. You have more important things to do and problems to solve, so focus on that instead. Move on.

If the situation is something important enough to you that you actually have to care, then fight for it. Even if you fail, at least you tried; sometimes trying is the only thing you can do, and the only thing that can be expected from us.

It’s easier said than done, but it has to be done: Take the out of control situation in stride. For all you know, the situation is not as bad as it seems; even if it is, you’re not facing it alone. Just do whatever you think you have to do. And if there’s nothing more you can do, then entrust the situation to God for Him to take care of it as He sees fit.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

The Human Interest in Each Other

February 15, 2014 5 comments

I let people speak their minds in order to learn more about their disposition in life. Honestly, I occasionally find the opinions I hear annoying, bigoted, cynical, judgmental and micromanaging, but I’d rather be aware of such perspectives in life than be blissfully ignorant of the same, because in the long run it helps me understand them better.

One thing that is very obvious in the course of hearing such opinions (but I’ll still say it anyway) is that people like to talk about other people a lot.

GREAT MINDS discuss IDEAS. AVERAGE MINDS discuss EVENTS. SMALL MINDS discuss PEOPLE. – Anonymous

Talking about people can be both a good and bad thing. Talking about the good in people, especially in their presence, is of course nice. But gossip is the obvious example of this being a bad thing. When you discuss people in order to assassinate their character, destroy their reputation and bear false witness then this is an evil that has to be stopped. There’s no place for such an attitude towards our fellow man in a world that is stressful enough as it is.

For what it’s worth, we only talk about people who have something interesting to offer to us. In other words, they are somebody because we pay attention to them; whether that’s actually true is another matter altogether. If they were nobody to us then we wouldn’t even bother. Therefore whether it’s good or bad, talking about people elevates to them to somebody of status whether they deserve it or not.

One thing is clear: The lives of people are a continual human interest to us. And for as long as we’re interested in each other, good or bad, we will continually want to know more about each other until the end of our race. That being said, let us take an interest in each other but for the good, and beyond just mere talk actually do something good if we know our fellow man needs it.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Hug the People You Love

February 15, 2014 Leave a comment

I read somewhere (I’m not sure where now) that when a child hugs you, don’t be the first to let go. Let the child hug you for as long as he or she wants, because you never know how much the child needs it. In my opinion, hugs give a sense of physical security and comfort, because you are close to someone dear and important to you.

I think the concept of not letting go first also applies to adults and their aging parents. Our old folks don’t have much time left in this world, and so there are only so many more hugs that are left before you can no longer do so; you would have to wait to hug them again until the time you’re called home to God, too.

The best things in life are free. Health is one of them, because such enables you to do things with your life. Relationships are that other treasure that no amount of wealth can ever replace. The people we love and the time we have with them are one of God’s many gifts to us because He loves us.

Be with the people you love while there is still time. Hug them while you still have the chance, for someday the hug you give and receive might be your last.

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you. – Winnie the Pooh

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Tactics in Life: Challenge Yourself – Stretch and Take Risks

February 15, 2014 6 comments

This is yet another way of saying, and also another reminder, that you should get out of your comfort zone and seize the day.

If you want to go places, achieve your goals, get closure to long-standing issues and frustrations, and generally just make things happen in your life, then you need to challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and do things you haven’t done before. It’s in stretching yourself and taking calculated risks that you learn more and move forward in getting what you want in life.

So put yourself out there in the game of love. It’s the only way she will know you exist and are interested in her. You find out early that you’re in the Friend Zone – or you become more than just friends. Either way it puts an end to your friendship, possibly making it worse off, but also possibly making it even better than just that. For all you know, she has just been waiting impatiently for you to make your move. But if that isn’t the case then at least you immediately know and can write her off sooner rather than later and not waste any more time.

Grab that promotion and take on more responsibilities. Sometimes it’s the only way to be in a position to make things happen for the better.

If you are qualified, then serve the public. It will involve diving into a pit of vipers, which is one metaphorical way of describing everything that is concerning government, but if we don’t have good people running the country then it will be all the more to our ruin. Take a chance and make a stand in the public arena despite the inconvenience and discomfort being in the public spotlight entails.

Yes, all of this is obviously so much easier said than done. But if you never at least try then absolutely nothing will happen at all. Sometimes you’ll never really know until you make the attempt. Yes, you can fail, and the consequences of failure can be that bad. But you can also succeed – and victory in achieving your goals will be just as sweet.

Challenge yourself to do more than what you think you can do and take well thought-out risks in executing your plans; be more than who the world thinks you can be – be more than who you think you can be.

Fight your fears; go ahead and dream big – and make it happen.

Take charge of your life.

Go out there and pleasantly surprise yourself, for when you think that you can do no more and go no further, you just might.

Take that chance.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Choosing Hell Out of Pride and Selfishness

February 15, 2014 1 comment

Would you rather be in Heaven but spend an eternity in regret for not doing something that is wrong? (The concept of regret as contextually used here and Heaven are contradictory, but for the sake of argument assume it’s possible.) Or would you rather be in Hell forever but at least happy with the thought that you did the wrong you wanted to do? Is there ever anything in this world, as fleeting and fragile as everything in this world is, that is worth sacrificing one’s eternity for?

It’s bad when someone would rather suffer for his ego and pride than humble himself and admit he’s wrong or someone actually knows better than him. It gets worse if other people become involved and also suffer for the person’s foolishness. Such a person doesn’t need to die first before going to Hell; he has already chosen to be in Hell while still here in this world.

I can imagine some people actually willing to go to Hell if it means getting their way with things in this world even if such are not right. For them forcing their will is all that matters because that’s what makes them happy, and an eternity of suffering for such temporal desires of this world would be worth it rather an eternity of regret in not doing it. If this describes you then so be it; have your way, no one will stop you anyway.

God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. It’s actually people who choose to go to Hell because they’d prefer that over Heaven, and this happens when they still prefer to choose what’s wrong over what’s right .

Pride and selfishness sends many people to Hell, by choice. Pray for the grace to choose correctly every day.