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June 7, 2010


and I said thank you

by Andrea O'Connell

Today I am choosing freedom from anger.

I hate myself for even wondering what people – rude people – say about older geeks like me in the workplace.  They talk and talk and I wonder why they, in their little sophomoric cliques, shoot wayward glances at certain people, including me, with such enjoyment.

A quote I just happened across is apt for this post.  It’s by Sandor McNab.  He writes:

Nothing determines who we will become so much as those things we choose to ignore.

So, as of now, TODAY, I choose not only to ignore, but I choose the absence of ignorance!

A blissful ignorance?  Yes, in this case a self-imposed ignorance is indeed bliss. (I abhor any kind of ignorance and hardly think it is truly bliss, but in this instance, I make an exception to the rule.)

Doesn’t it make perfect sense to never get to the place of ignorance in the first place?  That, to me, is empowering.

You see, by not even getting to a state of ignorance, we avoid giving terrible people (who do or say awful things), any power whatsoever.

They have no power over us unless we give them power.  Ignoring them is a choice, yes, but will we eventually get to a place where we won’t need to “choose” to ignore them – they will “be” ignored?

I think so.  Two negatives do not make a positive.  My mom always told me – you surely heard this one too – “two wrongs don’t make it right.”  Anger breeds anger.  Hate, hate.

It is far more powerful to choose gratitude rather than anger.

If negative thoughts derive from the negative actions that are witnessed in others, instead of dwelling and wallowing in the anger of it, can we choose to be grateful instead?

Yes, I believe so… but, how?

It’s about thought process.

  • If I hear something negative about me or others; I could choose to turn my attention to something beautiful like the sight of Herons, butterflies, or, the sound of a child’s laughter; what the waves sound like and what the sand would feel like between my toes at the beach.
  • If a loud and aggressive person talks over me and ignores me in a meeting, I will be thankful for the time it gives me to sneak a peak and re-read a lovely email from a friend; glance at a photo that I love, or daydream about an upcoming event.
  • When somebody is loud and unruly in the office and it’s difficult to think; I won’t care because it’s the perfect opportunity to listen to a brand new CD.

This is what I did today:

I noticed the sky outside my office window was steel-blue and the clouds were so enormous and made delightful shapes in the sky.

So, I said “thank you” out loud to no one in particular.

I felt (as I often do) that I have more work than I could ever finish; so I said a little gratitude-prayer  because I have a job when so many are unemployed.

So, I said “thank you” out loud to no one in particular.

I got a new project today that will be a bear.  I allowed my fingers to enjoy how it felt to flip through the mountains of reports that I must read.  I let the paper feel good in my hands and I enjoyed the smear of color that my highlighter made as it painted a splotchy yellow swipe across words that I found to be important on each page.

I said “thank you” out loud to no one in particular.

I found a piece of Orbit Peppermint Bubble Gum in my suit jacket from the last time I’d worn it.  My mouth literally watered in anticipation of chewing it.

And I said “thank you” out loud to myself in particular!

Do you see what I mean about gratitude?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. auntdeedee
    Jun 8 2010

    Having an attitude of gratitude keeps one’s perspectives on life in order. It is healthy spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.

    Ignoring those who are mean-spirited toward us isn’t easy but it can be done. Being thankful and “ignorant” is a good diversion. Sure, some remarks may hurt us, but we can be thankful that we have feelings that can be hurt enough to give us a good dose of empathy and carefulness in what we say to others.

    For me, I give it all to God and go about my business. I’m thankful that God collects the tears we cry in a bottle-that’s to show us one day that He was always mindful of us and took good care of us in this life. Of this I have seen many times over with my detractors. I don’t gloat, though, but pray for those who would be spiteful in tongue and/or deed. They need it. And if other’s spitefulness doesn’t bring tears to my eyes, it builds up good character in my demeanor.

    Just remember, there may be times when we must speak up, but we need to pick those battles carefully. I have found that being nice to rude people, as if you never were disrespected by them, flips them out!lol! Give it a try-say something nice about your detractor (be sincere-don’t lie or go overboard) to someone who talks to them. The next time that person mealy-mouths you to that person, that person will remember that you said something kind about them. Soon, whatever that person says about you will be ignored. And, that person may very well speak up on your behalf to your detractor. Just be steadfast.

    Another thing you can do is to do something nice for the person for all to see. Do it as often as you can. Again, this doesn’t mean you go overboard with the niceties. Kinda like the, Hey! I’m getting another cup of coffee, do you want one since I’m going that way?

    Great post, Andrea! I love how you say things and you gave another wonderfully wise quote.

  2. Andrea
    Jun 8 2010

    Thank you, auntdeedee. If anyone could understand what I was trying to say, I knew you would! 🙂

    It is all about an attitude of gratitude, absolutely.

    I got home late this evening – just a few moments ago (long day!) but I am grateful that I had just a moment to say hello before I hit the ole hay stack!

    Big hugs!


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