Saturday, June 02, 2012

Personality pet peeves

The two personality characteristics that I cannot stand are ignorance and hypocrisy. Unfortunately, both of these seem to be very prevalent. It also bothers me because both of these are well within the control of each individual.

Ignorance is far different from stupidity. Ignorance is a choice. It is a the lack of information and knowledge, not aptitude or ability. People who choose to not be educated or informed get not sympathy from me. It is a sign of laziness. In the worst case, it is purposeful instead of lazy. These are the people that have the ability to be anything, but choose to work a job that creates financial struggle. These are the people that say school is stupid or reading is stupid. They misspell things and know it and get angry when corrected. The would prefer to sound unintelligent. They believe things they learned from their parents that may be hateful, racist or otherwise backwards in 2012 and stand by it. They just don't know better and are generally comfortable with that.

I don't fault people who can't do better. I don't fault people who give 100% and fall short. I'll never be a doctor. I don't have the brain, the ability, or, quite frankly, the stomach. I am not capable. I have little tolerance for people who have ability to succeed and don't, for no real reason. These are the same people that make the your/you're mistake and when corrected they tell you "I don't care. You know what I mean." To them I say, "I'm sure a prospective boss will care so you should too." or "Don't you want to be able to teach your children how to speak well as they grow up so they can be successful." I have literal said both of those and got bullshit, copout, rationalizations back. That is someone who is working, on purpose, to do poorly in life, or at least not as well as they could. Why would you WANT to make less money, have less opportunity and put in an effort to sound less intelligent?

Ignorance goes way beyond spelling and grammar. It is learning from other people and your environment as well as the ability to experience new things. There are people who won't watch a movie because it's black and white and that means it's old. Some of the world's best movies are old. You just may like them. Give it a shot and if you don't like THAT movie, that's fine, but to throw out a whole category over the color is ignorant. Same goes with music and culture. It is the people who, under favorite books, on social media sites say things like "I don't read. It's stupid and boring." I read a lot and not nearly as much as some people and there have been times that people are talking about something and I have to sit quietly because I don't know what they are talking about. I'm left out of the conversation. People who choose to NEVER read will be in that situation more often as they get older.

Overall, to me, ignorance is a purposeful state of lacking - whether it's knowledge, information, culture, or anything else. This is a big, big world and there is lots to see and do and know. There are lots of people who can make your life better in a million ways, but you have to be able to recognize it. Similarly, there are lots who will make it worse and you have to be able to recognize it. I know I've had my ignorant moments. I'm human. We all do. I try not to live ignorantly though.

I'm not sure which is worse - ignorance or hypocrisy. Each seem to really chap my ass. Let's look at work for example. I don't pretend to be "all in" all the time. There are some rules that make sense and some that don't. I follow all of them, but some closer to the letter of the law. Some I find to be a hindrance in doing my job or they just do not make sense. I won't blatantly break them, but we find acceptable boundaries and thresholds.

For example, my students are supposed to walk on the right side of the hallway, single file, not speaking. The spirit and intent of the rule is to keep good order and discipline in the schoolhouse and not interrupt other classes. Ok, if they are not walking single file and whispering, does that interrupt other classes? If not, then the objective is met and I don't enforce it. I'm also supposed to wake them up if they doze in the classroom. I don't. They know they shouldn't sleep. They know they have to pass the tests. They know it's necessary if they want to do their job in the Air Force. So if their own career, future and paycheck are not important them, why would it be important to me? I let them sleep. And I warn them on day one, "Sleep if you want, but if you ask for tutor time, I'll say no; if you want extra help, I'll say no; if you fail the test, I'll have no mercy." I will go above and beyond for someone that wants to try, but if they don't meet the minimum investment in themselves, I won't go to the maximum. So I set my standards within the acceptable levels of the Air Force standards. I don't find it to be hypocritical. I crafted my environment.

Now, the boss that tells you to do something that he won't do himself is different. The guy that says you have to be here at 6am and strolls in at 7:30 is hypocritical. I see people on Facebook that post about friends and forgiveness with more grudges than I can count on two hands. Just like the ignorance thing, I'm sure I have actions that seem to conflict and therefore end up hypocritical. If anything, it's more of a flip flop. I make a statement and do the opposite because I changed my mined. That is because I do NOT waffle. I'm not wishy washy. I make a decision. Sometimes more information comes to light and I have to change my stance I try to not make snap decisions, but I mostly try to have a firm belief and set of morals and guiding principles, which lead me to making decisions - sometimes prematurely.

A blog or two ago I spoke about people in the military life who don't act like friends. They don't call or show they care. Someone asked me, while discussing the topic, "You said they don't call and you haven't talked to them. That means you don't call them either and that's hypocritical." So I thought about it and I realized that was inaccurate. I spent lots of time calling and calling and chasing and keeping it up. I stopped and the conversation stopped. If people call each other back and forth, it's tough to keep track of who owes who a call. Dr. Jim and I always owe each other a phone call and 10 bucks. We go back and forth and are so close to even we don't even keep score. However, when someone owes you 30 phone calls, it's hard to not notice the one-sidedness of it all. It isn't about number or "catching up." It is about effort. Some of those same people that were the subject of that blog made posts about forgiveness and/or keeping people in your life. How do they expect to do that with ZERO effort on their part? Who is that fucking special that they are owed everyone else's attention and love without giving any back? Nobody.

Ignorance and hypocrisy are both on purpose. They are both controllable and avoidable. They are both hurtful to other people and affect the world around you. They both cause negative situations in your life. They are both human nature that we can't get rid of entirely, but can mitigate with some attention. Doing so, screams to the world you want to be the best version of yourself. Why would you work at being less than that?

No comments: