I spoke with a friend recently and the conversation turned to calmness and serenity in life. I was immensely flattered to hear that she thought I was serene and patient as I’d been working frantically to foster this impression. And I was bursting for it to prove a success…
Well, am I serene? And patient? And all the other good things that gurus seem to charge $ 39.95 plus postage for? Or am I just slow-witted and miss most of what goes on?
The answer to these questions is yes. Patient, serene, slow-witted, and devious. The last quality is not often talked about, but can be just as useful as the other three. You just need to know how to apply them – how and when. As with all good comedy acts it all comes down to timing and inflection. Consider:
You will meet irritating situations and people every day – but you will rarely meet them all day. At some point of time even the worst bogan pest will wander off, if only to piss on a tree. You can use the interval to make your escape – the tree is not as fortunate.
People can be kind, pleasant, and helpful to you all the time if you are so with them. If not, you are amongst the wrong people – and the continuation of unpleasantness is a signal to move away. Only rarely will it follow and eventually if you go to good places bad people will stay away. Think of the road rager who bullies people on the road – they do not do so in the forecourts of police or bus stations. They rarely do so when filmed.
Help yourself out by sitting and thinking about who you are and how you could be a lady or a gentleman. If you don’t know how to do it, get a book on etiquette, manners, civil society, etc. Read it and see if any of the things that were done in the old days can be done now – with benefit. They need not be as complex as court procedure for investiture or a religious ritual. They can be as simple as opening door for a lady, tipping a hat upon meeting someone, speaking courteously…or listening attentively. Done well, they calm you and lift the situation. They make you master or mistress of the meeting.
Sound old-fashioned? Think you’ll be laughed to scorn? Try it. Take your hat off to a lady, or upon entering a structure. Give way courteously to people on the bus. Greet the bus driver, postal clerk, and shop assistant with a ” Good Morning ” and a smile. You may not get one in return but as a lady or gentleman you are above distress – and you may find that you are treated better for the cheerfulness you show.
Civility is the basis of everything. Add politeness and do better. And kindness and do best.
And if all else fails, empty your revolver into the closest threat.