Do you care what people think?

July 5th, 2012

Answering email. One thing my friend Jim and I talk about is the protocol for answering email. To us, email generally should be answered right away unless you are out of town. It’s weird because if you really want an answer right away, why not call?

But calling is so awkward because you don’t know what the person might be doing. Are they ready for your call? You don’t know. But if someone doesn’t answer email I 24 hrs, we tend to think that’s rude. Email protocol. Snappy replies. Or people might think less of you.

Which brings me to my next point, do you care what people think in the first place? Many of us like to think that we don’t care at all what others think. Or we only care what our immediate family thinks. I remember when M and I started dating, there were all these people I had to “run him by,” to see what they thought. Ben, and Jenise and Lewis, my kids were the most important. Let’s face it, if you have kids and they don’t like your new love, that’s going to wreck the whole relationship. You can’t go off and be happy with your new love of your life if things aren’t copacetic with the offspring.

But the only people I had to meet were his kids. I did eventually meet his mother and sister and much later, his brother, but I wasn’t running the gauntlet, he was making up his own mind.

But, most of us, even if we pretend not to, actually care a little what people think. We may not want to, but we do. Yesterday at our July 4th party, I got into a conversation with one of my friends who I thought didn’t care a bit what I thought and come to find out, he did.

I think the key is to develop your own sense of right and wrong and live by that, maybe you revise it as you get older, most do, but you realize that if you’re living your life by a code that works for you, that’s cool.

I like generosity of spirit, I like it when I see people not reacting to feeling small in the world, acting as though there is more love, more good times, more compassion, and more good will right around the corner, I’m glad you’ve got some, I’m glad I’ve got some.

But sometimes that’s hard. Recently a friend of mine was given a coveted teaching position, at a graduate creative writing position. Whether or not I qualify for said position is a matter of opinion, but the fact is, I haven’t spent enough time focusing on my own writing and publication in recent years and I need to change that. I have not gotten around to congratulating my friend, but I will next time we meet. It’s better to live as though you too walk on water, and there is light below that water, shining up into you. You glow like Artemis. As my daughter always says, When you wake up, ask yourself, am I too sexy?

Published in: on July 5, 2012 at 5:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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