Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sorry and thank you

I thought this post would make sense here. I'm also posting it on my blog.

I've wanted to write about this topic for a couple of weeks. And when I saw this image from Indexed this morning, I figured it was a sign.

Jessica's simple illustration communicates how shallow we are with our gratitude. We say "thank you" so many times during the course of a day -- when someone opens a door for us, when someone serves us water, when someone picks up something off the floor -- it's almost an auto-response. Without a thought. Without a pause.

But when someone does something we truly should be grateful for, do we take the time to express our gratitude? And then is a simple lightweight "thanks" enough? And what about the people closest to us -- the ones we take for granted -- how often do we sincerely take the time to communicate our appreciation for all they do?

Same goes for apologies. It's really easy to say "sorry" to strangers and acquaintances but so difficult to convey our heartfelt remorse to the ones we love the most. Why? Because of our inflated egos? Because it's too hard to accept we were wrong? Because it's too shameful? Because it means taking responsibility? Because it means we're accepting what jerks we've been?

There can be a thousand reasons ... but it just comes down to one thing -- we don't like acknowledging our failings. We don't like being wrong.

They seem so simple, but these two words are the ones we use the least in our most-valued relationships. Saying them is easy. Feeling them requires selflessness and introspection. Realization and acceptance. Humility and frailty.

We shower others with these expressions, but leave the ones we cherish impoverished.

Don't hold out on your loved ones. They won't just "know" -- these things need to be said, expressed, shown somehow. And most times, expensive gifts aren't required to do the task.

A simple but sincere expression of emotion is enough.

The Beauty that is Blogging

Many years ago I made a decision to stop reading newspapers and stop watching television. It seemed to me that there were too many depressing stories, too many scary stories and too many negative stereotypes being portrayed. Is the world really that bad? I think not. There are many good and happy stories that never get told.

In the UK, we have a lot of 'soaps' for instance. Programs such as 'Eastenders', 'Coronation Street' and 'Hollyoaks' and in these shows there are common themes: everyone is depressed, relationships are doomed to fail (usually through infidelity), people are miserable and bad things happen ALL the time.

Sure, you could say that these are only fiction but I happen to think that watching these sorts of shows affects people. I often see young people arguing and shouting at each other, seemingly emulating the sort of behaviour they see on the television. Who knows? Maybe I am wrong but I do often wonder, "What if these shows showed people being happy, successful and in loving lasting relationships?" How would the world change as a result of seeing positive uplifting messages consistently, rather than negative depressing messages that are so often promoted in the media?

This is my opinion on the media and it is why I have decided to be (as much as possible) media free. I say as much as possible, because every where I go I see advertisements - on buses, on posters, at train stations, even recently on the pavements! I imagine some people may laugh at my views and not see the damage media can do, but I see it. I see it very clearly when I walk into a newsagents shop and see magazines with women exposing themselves not just on the top shelves but in the daily newspapers. Young children walk into the shop and are exposed to this type of 'message' from their earliest age. If normal everyday women do not walk around with everything exposed, why is it acceptable to be bombarded (and where I live we are bombarded) with images of women in this way.

I'm not a prude. I think normal loving relationships are good and healthy but I would object to any woman walking into my home with everything on show. I'd ask her to have some respect and cover herself up - so why should I also not have concerns for the sorts of images you see regarding women in the media?

This is a large topic, too large to go into here but suffice to say, I believe that the media is very controlled and generally portrays some very negative messages regarding the world and people. At the very least, the media is very limited in its scope of the human experience.

Which is one of the reasons I love blogging. Blogging is a freedom. It allows individuals a voice. It allows individuals to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences with each other. I would much rather read about the life story of a real person in another country, than read about the latest bomb attack. I would much rather read a true story of someone's success over adversity than be 'encouraged' to buy the latest women's razor or perfume.

Blogging to me is a much needed antidote to the highly-controlled media world of information. I think I have already learned so much more from reading other bloggers' posts than I could ever hope to gain from reading the latest copy of 'Hello Magazine'.

So I'd just like to say thank you. Thank you to everyone that shares their thoughts, their feelings, their experiences and their stories. It enriches my life and my understanding.

I have a problem leaving comments on blogger sites. It simply won't let me leave comments, unless they are in 'pop-up' mode so although I am delighted to be in such good company here, I haven't been able to comment for this reason.