Human Nature Nuggets

Unlike sheer instinct, human nature involves individual thought as to how we should handle or improve various situations. As homo sapiens, we never know what will happen as a result, but each of us tries by doing what we think is the best solution. Here are some examples…

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I am a writer at heart, a proofreader by trade, but without a soul if it were not for the nuthatches crawling down my trees, the robins, chickadees, cardinals, and yes, the much-maligned jibbering starlings that create their own unique concerts. I have wildflowers and perennials squeezed into my front and back yards and along the curb of my house in the city. My greatest job: I was a reporter for a locally-based newspaper, where I wrote human interest and news articles, but now I am a freelance writer, both online and in print. See MY ONLINE ARTICLES on how to ATTRACT BIRDS and BUTTERFLIES, and the HEALTHIEST NATURAL FOODS at my contributor page

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Preoccupation, Rudeness, or Just Don’t Care?/LIFE IS PRECIOUS!

The temperature is frigid, with a plummeting wind chill factor. Outside the grocery store, many shoppers are abandoning their grocery carts in the middle of the lot, instead of putting them in the outdoor storage racks. A store employee is forced to brave the cold and forge throughout the lot so he can gather all the stray carts, line them up, and push them back to the store. The moment his back is turned—his fingers numb and face red from the chill—more shoppers are leaving their carts strewn all around.

Someone is roaring along the freeway in a car with a loose muffler; it’s actually bouncing up and down. One thunk and the muffler could drop off—not necessarily a danger to the driver, but what about the cars going at 55 mph and faster right behind and alongside him?

We order food from a cashier, a waitress, anyone whose job is to “serve” us so they can make a living. We regard them as a fixture instead of another human being. In a stern voice, we demandingly say “give me” or “I need” so-and-so, without even a smile, instead of saying, “I’d like” or “could I have.”

LIFE IS PRECIOUS; the only one we’ll ever have, at least in this form, unless you’re one of those who believe in reincarnation, which I don’t. Perhaps I’m a cynicist, but I’ve lost far too many people, and pets, throughout my lifetime that I loved or cared about. I’ve had mind-boggling dreams in which I’ve reconnected with them, in some cases even found absolution, but their presence during my waking hours is definitely gone.

My point is that we should treasure the life we have on earth now, and the lives of those we care about, instead of taking them for granted. For me, this means we should at least say goodbye every time someone we care about leaves our home. This means, if you see someone and like how they look, whether it be their hair, the clothes they're wearing, or whatever, don’t be too shy to tell them, whether it’s a loved one or friend—or even if that person is a stranger you’re passing on the street. (Besides, it’ll make both of you feel good.) If you’re at a restaurant and like how attentive certain waitresses are, tell them. If you appreciate a fellow blogger for whatever reason, tell them. And for others in general--especially those who are worthy--follow the Golden Rule and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Life is truly short, and nobody is invulnerable.


Blogger kathy said...

hi darlene

i know what you mean. i was just reading something the Dalai Lama said:

"It is fascinating," he says, speaking in slightly stilted English. "In the West, you have bigger homes, yet smaller families; you have endless conveniences --yet you never seem to have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don't bother to cross the road to meet your neighbours; you have more food than you could possibly eat, yet that makes women like Heidi miserable."

4/02/2006 1:08 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

4/02/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Thanks so much for sharing! A truly wise man, with such understanding of our human nature. Really puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

4/02/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

yes i thought so too

4/02/2006 1:15 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

I like your idea of telling people you appreciate them.

4/02/2006 2:54 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Another great quote from you!

4/02/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger pb said...

Thanks, Kathy, for the great link. The Dalai Lama is my favorite living celebrity. I can't get enough of his wisdom. Truly a living saint. This is what religion is all about: showing the way to make Heaven on Earth. Now. I think he goes a long way to make it happen.

It reminds me of another celeb. "The birds of the sky have nests and the foxes have their holes, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." The Dalai Lama cannot return to his homeland, so the whole world becomes his pastorate, so to speak.

4/02/2006 3:12 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I appreciate your sentiments here, Darlene. When I had a fireplace insert put in a week ago, two young men worked most of a day to install it. I so greatly appreciated all the care they gave - to me as well as to our fireplace. They will always remain a very positive memory because of their attitudes and manner in my home. They were just so dear. I know how important it is to truly 'serve' when you provide service, and they were an example of this. I'd love to see it all the time.

4/02/2006 3:15 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Bonita, as to how you regarded the two men who helped you--that's precisely what I meant! And isn't the rapport you established such a wonderful feeling? When this happens, you just know you'll recognize them if you ever see them again, and all the warmth will come flooding back. As such, you'll have become "friends" on both ends, and be so happy to see one another again.

4/02/2006 3:45 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

P.S., everybody. It's such a good thing, seeing all of us intermingling our comments to each other. Definitely a community where we can share our opinions, learn from each other, and grow. I love it!

4/02/2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Vonnie said...

Hi Darlene,

Once again, you've written an inspiring piece. Are you going to submit it somewhere? :)

Keep up the good work.

4/02/2006 5:43 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Very true. These reminders are very good for me and most people. Most of us can do better in these matters.

Abouty pets: when I was a kid, we lost a dog in October. After a vivid dream of him coming back to life, I started digging him up next spring. Fortunately, I was prevented.

4/02/2006 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow u are like totally inspirational or wateva i LOVE LIFE!! as all humans should!!

4/02/2006 6:52 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Anvilcloud, it's amazing how these dreams can become so vivid, we feel as if we're actually there, in that other world. It's so fortunate someone stopped you from digging up your dog.

Just a few years ago, I had to bring our cat Misty in to have her put to sleep because of her kidney failure...I knew she was at that point and didn't want her to suffer any further.

That night, I dreamed that I walked into the kitchen and saw her standing on the floor, looking up at me. I had a knee-jerk reaction: telling myself she didn't belong there, it wasn't right, and feeling overwhelmed by guilt, I turned my back on her and rushed out. When I woke up I felt even more guilty, because I had deserted her in my dream, hadn't even acknowledged her presence.

Two nights later I had the same dream, but this time when she looked up at me, I knelt down and petted her, and told her I loved her.

I haven't dreamed about her since then, but somehow I feel I made peace with her in that second dream, and that she had needed my acceptance of her being gone before her soul, or something, could pass on. It's weird, I know, but in some way I can't help believing that she was reaching out to me.

Even stranger, I never knew my father, never met him, but when I was 17 I saw him in a dream. We didn't even talk; I just saw his face and somehow felt it had to be him. When I woke up the next morning, my mother said, "Dad died," and she showed me his obituary in the paper.

I don't know...

4/02/2006 7:55 PM  
Blogger pb said...

Darlene, do not fear your Ghost-Kitties. I see them all the time right after we have a death.

Who's to say they are not real? If it's a comfort, perhaps that is just as it should be. I love and miss all my pets. Their spirits are with me every time I love a living pet. Makes me love them all the more.

4/03/2006 7:55 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Pat, it's the same with me. The spirits of the pets I've loved and lost are with me every time I love a living pet, too, and yes, it indeed makes me love them all the more. Thanks!

4/03/2006 8:45 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Just got a fabulous idea from Zareba, who e-mailed me because for some reason she wasn't able to post a comment here. She wrote:

"My daughter and I developed a game we called "Grinning" during one particularly hectic Christmas.

"The store clerks were so stressed out that they were all snarling. We double-teamed them with "Nice," so that by the time we finished our shopping with each one of them, they were smiling again. I don't know how long it lasted, because so many never give a second thought to those we contact in our everyday lives, but at least each of them had one bright spot at work that day. We still do it. It has become habit to say the nice things that people never say. Maybe that is why we are remembered wherever we go."

4/03/2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wonderful Post Darlene. Thank you so much.

I don't remember who told me this when I was a teenager, but I was working as a grocery clerk and probably complaining about grumpy people. Some wise person told me that I had no idea what that "grumpy" person had been through that day and that whatever I did could make the difference in their day. Smiling could turn their day around and give them hope while returning their grumpiness with my own could be the final straw for them that day. I try to remember that still will I encounter frazzled folks.

4/04/2006 3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on.. especially be nice to the people you meet on the way up.. you may meet them on the way down

4/04/2006 6:48 AM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

What a strange dream regarding your Dad!

I've been thinking of manners a lot lately, and this is part of it. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

4/04/2006 9:26 AM  

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