Monday, May 4, 2009

Rain, Conflict, and Green Tea


rainy day, dream away, let the sun take a holiday...
Jimi Hendrix

...or else just sit around feeling miserable...there are days when it seems like conflicts spring up out of the dirt like weeds...watered by incessant rain...make ya wanna run home and hide....then, the worst conflicts are generally those experienced alone...and most disagreements are actually about something entirely different than those caught up in them think...maybe most agreements are, too....often we tend to drift from one argument to the next, never really plumbing the depths...never finding out what's really behind any of them...

...is it closed minded or judgemental to tell a friend his dislike of dogs is a personality flaw?...I say it with a smile, at least....my friends at the coffee shop were running down their latest rude-customer stories while I finished up a mug of green tea I’d let get cold...making me realize how quickly I’d be fired if I had their job...and that I should tip more....I used to try to get elite college students to write papers on an issue that matters to you....how bad the food on campus was tended to be the most pressing...and I couldn’t disagree it was lousy....but they’d also talk about how rude the servers were...though, whenever I forgot to bring my lunch, I’d end up standing in a line with ten or so undergraduates, not one of whom would say please or thank you...sometimes barking orders like particularly irascible drill sergeants...acting like their privacy was being violated if the guy behind the counter interrupted their conversations to say excuse me, sir, do you want fries with that?...

...Henry David Thoreau, after starting a forest fire by accident, saw it from a distance, finding it a glorious spectacle if one can part the burning from the burned...or so I read in the New York Times Book Review...I can remember somebody saying something similar about footage of the first space shuttle explosion, back in the 80’s...some people like to use a flower as a symbol or metonym of life...others use war in much the same way...William Blake said everything possible to be believ’d is an image of truth...and he was probably right...

17 comments:

RB said...

"most disagreements are actually about something entirely different than those caught up in them think...maybe most agreements are, too...."

So true. Yet so easy to forget.

Eco Yogini said...

Working for 6 summers in the service industry (housemaid and bartender) were the most humbling experiences I have every had. I truly believe that everyone should try it- nothing instills humility like a job where you are the 'help' and not to speak unless spoken too...

However, at the same time, if I could be polite and pleasant to drunken fishermen as they yelled for more beer, so can other servers. I don't have a lot of patience for rude servers and will tip accordingly. I have even asked to speak to a manager... lol.

I guess if you expect kindness or politeness, then you need to give in return. :)

Aggie said...

I love the art/image with this. But, then I love rainy days. Yesterday was a day of conflicts for me as well- for seemingly no reason? So, I think the vibes sometimes get into the atmosphere and have to be cleared away before anyone's truth can shine through.

earthtoholly said...

Hey drjay,

I agree with your whole piece, there. ...the worst conflicts are generally those experienced alone... Yeah, they sure are, and I've found that once one gets hold of ya, it's like floppin' around in quicksand.

I'm always peeved when I see servers treated badly...or anyone, for that matter, who's made to feel small or beneath another. What are people thinking when they act like that? Worse are those who never grow out of it...

And someone who has lived with or been around dogs a lot, but still dislikes them...personality flaw. Me? Judgmental? Nahhh!

Brooks Hall said...

Gawd! I'm just glad you put up another post so I can comment on a new one. A yoga teacher friend said the other day when it was raining that the rain was good. And I responded with the story I had been telling myself which was that the light rain is good for the plants. And he said that it was also good for us, helping us to keep the soul inside.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Parting the burned from the burning. Oh yea, How many times I have stepped back to admire the messes I have helped to cultivate.

That tends to make me even less popular, if you can imagine such a thing LOL
:)

There is a point when a situation can take on a life of its own. And all one can do is get out of the way and observe the spectacle.

svasti said...

Been experiencing plenty of rudeness lately, without working in hospitality. Though if I don't get a job soon, I might very well have to (if they'll give me a job).

Are we a much less polite society now because we feel as though we have the right to assert our opinions, at the cost of others? Certainly something I'm pondering right now.

Although, personally I think little is said these days, that couldn't be stripped back to say something more honest. But honesty when it really counts seems to be MIA when we need it most. And perhaps, our more assertive use of honesty when it matters least, is just a cover for our frustrations and our fears.

Eleanor said...

I've heard it said, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes". We could do with some rain here, the beginning of winter in this latitude, on this island continent, is meant to be wet. We have had continuous sunshine for a couple of weeks. The rainwater tank is empty ...

Customers can be rude, so can service staff. My philosophy is to remain calm and remind myself that it is not me per se but perhaps they have had a crappy day, maybe their dog died.

As always, food for thought around this blog!

patti said...

I used to fit shoes for a living, which meant I was always on my knees handling smelly feet, at the customers beck and call. Very humbling! As a consequence, I always give people who serve me great politeness & respect.

It must be in the air! (or maybe it's just the human condition :) - I have been conflicted today too. So I wrote it all out in a third person narrative, as a commentating onlooker. It's a bit like meditating - you just observe the feelings, while being neutral toward the plot/outcome.

It helped me accept what 'is', without judging it as good or bad. The conflict remains, but the turmoil has gone.

BTW i like dogs :)

Lydia said...

What is it with all this rain? It's brought yet another pitiful homeless hungry stray cat to our backyard....and last night with the winds whipping I slipped him/her under the garage door to go join the three other (former) pitiful homeless hungry stray cats. No chance of starting a forest fire around here for awhile!
I loved reading this post on a rainy night.

Alexei Zoubov said...

Gosh, I'd like to be able to write so poetically about simple things and events of life. I think I can feel some of life's poetry, but never was able to put it in words. Thanks!

ZenYenta said...

Dislike of dogs may or may not be a personality flaw, but it surely means a person is missing out.

skyewriter said...

Hi, Dr, Jay:
Thanks for all of the laughs. I am starting a new blog award to celebrate those bloggers who make us laugh and you are one of the first five to receive it.

You may find details at my blog under the post titled: "The New Funny Bone Award."

Cheers!

Melinda said...

I don't see any point in telling my friends about their personality flaws--and I say that because I don't want them to tell me about mine (which I have plenty!). I guess it goes along with accepting people, despite their warts (and sometimes *because* of them!).

I have worked in the service industry many times in my life. Waiting on John Q. Public is the most thankless, potentially degrading, often disgusting work anyone can do. I am so glad that I have worked in this industry and I wish EVERYONE would for at least a short time--because no one who has ever worked in that industry treats service workers as horribly as the elite who never have. I have a good friend who I will never go out to a restaurant with--because the way she treats the waiters is so embarrassing.

And I truly believe my work as a taxi driver and bartender was what made me want to become a psychologist!

Melinda

Suzy said...

the worst conflicts are generally those experienced alone...
Oh Boy, did you strike a nerve on this one!!! Yowza.
And my mantra about dogs???

Love me, love my dogs. Period.

Fantistic post!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

To be honest i prefer miserable assistants to people who feign interest and continually suck up - must be totally soul destroying.

I think its because so many shop staff here are bored teenagers or students.

Great painting btw

Rhiannon said...

I agree with you that the worse conflicts are generally those experienced alone.

I also know what you mean about how rude some people can be in line and "snotty" and looking down their noses at their server or waiter, etc..and never saying thank you or anything.

I've always made the comment to others that you can tell a lot about people when they are at a restaurant and how they treat their waiter or waitress. I believe this is very true. It's a good test to see if they are respectful and kind or "not"..

I love green tea..it's very good for you..and try it with echinacea and goldenseal combo drops in it, along with a drop of aloe vera gel also..gets you through colds, flu, or preventive and also good to take as a way of "cleansing"..

Rhi