I think my parents did a great job raising me. After all, I did turn out to be really, really awesome (sarcasm)!! I learned to work hard, expect to earn everything in life, treat people right and don’t steal, kill, lie, etc. But the one thing I acquired that I am most grateful for is self-awareness. Wikipedia defines self- awareness as: “the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. It is not to be confused with qualia nor consciousness. While consciousness is being aware of one’s environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness.”
For as long as I can remember I have contemplated my place in the world, my faults, weaknesses, strengths, opportunities for improvement and how my actions affect the people in the world around me. I have often simplified self-awareness down to being considerate, but being a considerate person is a result of deep introspection, not equal to self-awareness. I am not sure if self-awareness can be developed or if you are predisposed to it as a personality trait. Either way it has been a gift that I appreciate.
What got me to thinking about this is my frustration with inconsiderate people. I tend to hold all rules as unbreakable and hold to a strict, and frustrating, code of conduct. And I expect others to obey the code as well. When people do not hold to my code it upsets me. As I type this I realize how it sounds, but it is me and I accept it as a strength and a weakness. My sister thinks I have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, not to be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Here are the symptoms:
-Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost
-Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)
-Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)
-Is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)
-Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value
-Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things
-Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes
-Shows significant rigidity and stubbornness
This info was found at: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-symptoms/
(All of these apply to me except #5.)
I identify with all of these excluding the “unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects.” I most identify with the fourth item about being over-consciousness in matters of ethics and morals. And it is this item that plagues me and contributes to my frustrations. I expect people to park their car inside all the lines, on the proper side of the street. I expect people to use turn signals. I expect people to let the person in line with 2 items to go forward. I expect people to talk quietly in a waiting room. I expect people to be polite and considerate, to think about others when making simple decisions. I expect people to put down the phone when checking out at the store. I expect people to walk to the left when passing down an aisle or hallway. I expect people to not be on their phone when attempting to merge onto the interstate. I understand how ridiculous this still sounds, but stay with me!
I guess I am writing about this because I do not find inconsiderate, self-absorbed people to be very fulfilled individuals. The mission of the Dream Big community is to help people realize their internal greatness as the route to living the life of their Dreams And the most telling identifier of the true “you” is in your interactions with other human beings! I cannot expect others to be just like me, as a matter of fact diversity is one thing I love about learning. But think before you act. Think before you park your car. Think before you hold a phone conversation while disrespecting the checkout clerk. Just take a few moments and try to see how your actions affect those around you; in short, be considerate.
Be self-aware, be considerate, be respectful.
In the end people will stand at your funeral and talk about the person you were, not the stuff you owned. What do you want people to say about you?
Until next time,
PS. Check out my Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1534694443466189