Monday, December 14, 2009


Being on vacation for the past couple of weeks has really given me a lot of time to think about things...maybe TOO much time.

Have you ever taken a few moments to stop and look at the world around us?  Honestly, sometimes this world breaks my heart.

We have become such superficial people, where the mentality is very "me, me, me."

I don't know why, but somehow I have become more sensitive.  I don't want to live in a world like this. 

Yesterday, I was walking down the street, all the way to the right, and there were 3 people heading towards me taking up the entire sidewalk.  As I approached, not one of them moved.  In fact, the girl that I was ready to run into looked at me with such a sour look on her face.  How dare I make her have to move out of the way?

I know that sounds silly, but it is simple selfishness like this that is beginning to make me lose faith in people.  This type of behavior happens all too often.

Pick up a newspaper.  Every day there is another story of someone being murdered, robbed, or cheated.

It also pains me to see that a few of the people that I even call my friends are somewhat heartless, or cruel.  I hate it when i hear them criticize people around us for not looking a certain way, or just generally make snide comments about things that really shouldn't matter in the grand scheme.

It makes me not want to be around them.

I have a hard time even logging into Facebook anymore, as so many of the status updates break my heart.  If it isn't someone saying, "Look at me, and how I am so much better than you," then it's people complaining about not getting their way, or judging others, or just negative in general.

It's very depressing. 

I have just gotten to the point where I don't like living in this type of world.  I know that it's been this way for awhile now, but maybe I am just finally getting tired of it all.

Or, maybe it's just that I am more sensitive during the holiday season.  Christmas is kind of a rough time for me, and I can't wait until its over.

I am not perfect myself.  I am sure that I have been guilty of some of these actions, and just the thought of it makes me sick:  the thought that I may have contributed to someone else's pain.  It's like a punch to my gut.

Sorry, I just needed to vent.  I don't mean to be negative myself, but I just needed to get some feelings out.

However, I do realize that there are also many great people out there.  Some of my friends are such amazing people that really uplift me.  They are kind, caring, and make me very happy to be around them.

Those are the people that I look to when I lose faith in the human race. 

And some of you other bloggers (and readers) out there are very inspirational to me.  Your kind words say more about you than you may ever know.

Can you imagine what would happen if we all started treating each other with respect, and kindness was the law of the land?

What if we all took an extra beat or two to think about how our actions are going to affect someone else before we acted?


  1. Hi Paul. First, I want to say that it takes a special person to feel how you do. There are many of us out here who have had to reflect and reevaluate how we look at the world and others around us. It's a sign of maturity. Unfortunately, many people are so wrapped up in themselves that they never experience this.

    Second, always remember to cherish the good relationships that you have in your life. There are people who build you up, as well as people who tear you down. You are right to let the latter relationships fall by the wayside. Sure, you can still be acquainted with them, but don't let their negativity bring you down.

    Third, I want to say thank you for posting this. You have opened something up within my own spirit to make sure that I am helping to contribute in making this world a better place. Don't lose hope, as that will only lead to defeat.

    Keep your head up. You have a good soul.

  2. The holidays tend to bring out this kind of thinking in myself as well. While I realize that I can be oversensitive about things at times, I guess I feel good in knowing that I have the ability to have that perception.

  3. Very good post! I know what you mean about the facebook status updates. Some can be SO "look at me." Now and then is fine--when it's actually fun/cool news. But when it's ALL the time, not so fun!

  4. I am all about manners, opening doors for people, stepping aside to let people pass, and I know what you mean about the looks people give you if you, god forbid, don't move aside.
    I long for a return to mannres.
    Simple manners.

  5. Paul!

    Hmmm, such a sudden change in tone from you!

    It sounds like YOU are the one that had the facade but are finally tearing it down to reveal what's really inside. That IS a good thing!

    I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling right now. It's evident by what you're focusing on in this particular post. People can be shitty sometimes and "supposed" friends can be even shittier.

    Maybe you just need a better group of friends?

    Sounds like you're changing, Paul, and perhaps your friends need to as well.

    I'm wishing you the very best, mister!


  6. Hi Paul,

    As an 8th grade teacher, you KNOW that I would love your message of acceptance to get out to all my students. It's so sad how kids treat each other, and their surroundings--everything is about me, first, for so many kids (and some of my former "kids" are now adults out there in the world...sigh...)

    Just remember--every person can make a difference. Smile and say "excuse me" when someone is being rude and not moving, and see how they react--usually they feel guilty and will move then. If someone at a restaurant is rude or gives bad service, kill 'em with kindness. I read a blog that said whenever someone does something nasty, think (or say) "Blessings to you"--not necessarily religious, but just sharing life's blessings. I've tried having this attitude, and it really helps.

    You know I am sending many blessings out to you--I wish the holidays were a time of joy for you, but since they are not, know that I will be praying that Christmas is not a time of sadness for you.

    Amy Hope :)

  7. Just when I had lost all hope that amyone could be a good person, I came and read your blog today....your thoughts prove that goodness still lives...want to see a kind person Paul...look in the mirror my friend.


  8. I live in hope that the pendulum will swing back and ppl will be a little nicer like they used to be............

  9. In a weird way i too am reflecting on such things,Working in retail on mich ave in the heart of holiday Crazy has given me a little frustration But i have not lost faith in our fellow man and you shouldn't either. I think a lot of people feel the way u / we do however , I am finding myself suprised by random acts of kindness, they do still exist. I honestly believe in people
    hope your hoilday looks better :)

  10. Your such a goody goody! he he he...But in all seriousness good post- lots to think about for me and yes I can see all your points of this too...I guess its up to us to make changes and hope others change as well. We all are good and bad..some have to work on the good alot more...

  11. I have this conversation with my Peace Corps friends on a daily basis. People, especially Americans, live with a sense of entitlement that has not been earned.

    The selfishness and avid personal consumerism is heart breaking. I've debated universal healthcare and unemployment with acquaintances and their argument was that they didn't want to have to pay for other people and that most people are just lazy and taking advantage of the system. I'm unemployed and uninsured. I'd hardly call myself lazy. So much for the "United" States.

    But there ARE good people out there. When I returned from Ukraine I did a bit of serious cleaning up in my life and the overly-negative life suckers have been purged. It might not help our society much, but it certainly helps me live in our society by surrounding myself with good people.

  12. Well, I think almost everyone is that this! And it's sad to say that some people who weren't like this, become it due to others being such bitches and so on, you know? Like others try to want to fit in by doing crap like that.

    You are a wondeful person who is true to himself and can see outside the bubble and that is what makes you special. :)

  13. I'm OCD and borderline Asperger's, and that sidewalk thing really bothers me. Can they not do the math? Three walking one direction, one walking the other - something has to give. It's just math. Most of the time I just end up walking in the street because people walking about just can't seem to respect the people around them.

    It's been said that your right to swing your fist stops at someone else's face; you can do what you want as long as you don't adversely affect someone else's life, someone else's experience.

    I think people forget this. We should be going around improving other people's experiences, other people's lives.

    Like you say - some of the comments you get are inspirational; and that's purely in return for the fact that your blog touches our lives, too. Most of us are complete strangers - we'll never meet you, you'll never meet us. I have nothing to "gain" from being nice to you; yet good people like yourself attract other good people.

    And so thank you, for your time in writing, for sharing of your life. Some of these posts have been intensely personal, for which I'm grateful for the honesty and beauty in your words.

    I don't particularly "celebrate" Christmas, so I won't wish you a merry Christmas, but I wish you all the best in what you've said is normally a difficult time. Again, thanks for blogging.

  14. Reflection is a good thing, and I'm glad that it brought this subject to light for you.

    Simply put, you don't need 'friends' in your life who constantly brag about themselves and/or criticize others. Unhealthy people's attitudes can wear off of you, so before they do, you may want to limit your time spent with them. Increase the time you spend with people of substance who have manners, know how to have an intelligent conversation, and don't think its 'cool' to degrade others. It will make a big difference in your happiness and life!

    Good luck!!!

  15. Very good post. I have two jobs - both are customer service oriented, so I know how you feel. No one knows what "Excuse me" means anymore - I've finally have started telling people who get in my way at my server to "Move!"

    I find that I'm spending less and less time out and staying home and reading more. I do read the news though I'm very selective: I don't need to know about a murder that happened two counties away and almost definitely not two states or two countries away. The world hurts to live in, and there are times that that pain is from its beauty rather than the superficiality that present life thrusts upon us.

    I think I'm becoming more and more like Harold or maybe Maude - finding solace in the woods, the cemeteries.

  16. Paul -- Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts on subjects like the ones featured here and a few days ago ("Don't judge"). Thought-provoking reminders we all need once in a while, probably more often than we'd like to think.
    Happy Holidays to you.

  17. I have felt all of this at one point or another, Paul, so I sympathize. (And seriously, what is up with people on the sidewalks?? Haha).

    When I'm really dug down deep, though, I find that reading Whitman helps dig me out. Leaves of Grass most often, but I'd bet anything of his would do.

  18. What you think about , you bring about ;p

  19. Paul don't let the negative aspects of life pull you down. Get those feelings out here, but let them stay here in the ether. The negative elements of life aren't the most common, only the most obvious. The good in the world doesn't need attention; it needs to work its' changes, to uplift. I think that's why it is harder to see. This blog entry mirrors many of the feelings I was having about humanity. Then Stan convinced me to start blogging and my attitudes changed greatly. The world didn't change, but my perception did. I'm hoping that is what is happening for you.

  20. Paul I totally hear you on much of what you said. I think a lot of us joke around and are sometimes mean, even if we don't intend to do so.. it's become very easy to fall into that "you're wearing that?" trap...

    Thanks for keeping us honest... reading your blog today made me realize that it all starts with ourselves... and with that: I APPRECIATE AND LOVE YOU!. I'm very glad you are in my life, and I know lots of people feel the same way.. but for now I"m only speaking for me.

    You are a lovely person and a bright light in many lives... I"m glad you're in this world!


  21. Paul,

    Don't let the actions or attitudes of others bring you down like this, because honestly, you can't do much about it. All you can do is continue to be the kind and caring person that we all know you are and hope that others will follow your example.

    And I feel like Facebook was pretty much created for the purpose you stated above; sad, true, yet fairly addicting all at the same time. Maybe temporarily deactivating it would ease your mind.?