Today’s guest post from Catherine Rodie Blagg:
We have new neighbors. They moved in a few months ago. I haven’t met them face to face yet. When the quiet, elderly, Korean couple moved out I wondered who would come along and fill the big empty house. I hoped it would be a family with young children, potential friends for my girls. I had visions of inviting them round for a cuppa and chatting with my new neighbor while our children splashed about in the paddling pool.
When I heard voices in their garden I resisted the urge to climb up the fence and instead listened out for children. I started mentally baking a batch of welcome cookies.
The voices that drifted over the fence were tense and grumpy, which seemed logical – moving day isn’t the most joyous occasion. But their language was pretty shocking (even by my standards), and after a few minutes I took the girls indoors, the last thing I want is for G to start using the ‘C’ word (and no, I’m not talking about Christmas).
It’s been a few months now, I haven’t popped round to introduce myself and I never did bake those cookies. We hear them often. Their colourful language floats through our windows as we sit down to a family meal. Their voices wake us in the night.
I huff and puff. I glare at them through the walls. ‘Why does it bother you so much?’ My husband asks.
Because they are invading my personal space with their foul language, that’s why. Because it’s just so inconsiderate.
And there it was… the magic word. The bottom line of my huffiness. Inconsiderate.
As I’ve got older I’ve become increasingly aware of the way human kind interacts with one another. And a general lack of consideration bothers me more and more. People in their cars who won’t slow down to allow someone into their lane. People in shopping centers who push past others on the escalators. Little things. Small gestures.
I tried to explain my point of view to my husband, who being rather laid back by nature isn’t so bothered by the constant stream of profanity drifting over the fence. He told me to let it go. Forget it. Ignore it.
I have a tendency to mull things over and just as I was ready to go bang their door down and tell them to shut the fuck up (yes, I know, I know….) I had an epiphany.
“What you focus on expands”
Do you know that one? It’s a universal law and it’s so bloody true (yes, I know…). The more I acknowledge all the little, inconsiderate actions I encounter the more disheartened I become. Because I putting my energy in the wrong place.
So today I tried something different. I focused on the good stuff. On the people who return my smile as I pass them in the street. The man who waved back at G when we were held up in traffic. The kind lady who held the door open for me at the post office.
When you focus your attention on all the positives then all of a sudden those inconsiderate things don’t matter so much, and all of a sudden the world is a little friendly.
And as for my neighbors, they can fuck off. The cunts!
Do inconsiderate people bother you? Do you feel you sometimes focus your energy on the wrong thing?
This post originally appeared here and has been republished with full permission.
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