Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Humility and Facebook

Humility is one virtue I have always admired. It's not an easy one to hold but I've heard it can be held with amounts of practice. I know this topic is unlike most of my blog posts (can we say Everett?!) but it got me thinking on my way home. As I was trying to tune out my screaming child in the backseat, I started thinking about Facebook. I have a strong love/hate relationship with this social networking app. I download it and unload it off and on my Blackberry a few times a month. I currently hate it. I just deleted it this morning.

Needless to say, not having it on my phone will positively not allow me to read updates multiple times a day but rather force me to boot up my {slow} desktop which in the long run I choose not to; therefore, deterring me from knowing everything from what people are eating to what they're complaining about.

When I'm in the current "love" state of Facebook and have it's icon up at the top of my phone, I enjoy keeping posted and knowing what my family and friends are up to. It's a great way to stay in touch when you have family that live in other countries {my sissy!} or states.

When I'm in the current "hate" state of Facebook, I get easily annoyed of people who make it a habit of making an uproar everytime something negative occurs. I believe complaining is acceptable in moderation. Life can get tough and we can feel like we can't handle it and sometimes, it just feels plain relieving to complain. Keep note that there's a difference between complaining and whining though. Whining just sounds like someone taking their nails down a chalkboard. I admit I have a few people in which I've hidden their status updates, which also got me thinking, why don't I just delete them? If I don't ever see their posts, why have them?

There's also a difference between sharing and bragging. Because I'm a mother to a very adorable one year old, I support any parent's need to brag about their child. Every once in awhile. Going overboard does exist though in the eyes of other parents.

Back to the topic {humility} --- What got me on thought of all this came from the current book I'm reading. Chapter 9: Let Others Have the Glory. {"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff..." by Richard Carlson, PH.D.}

"There is something magical that happens to the human spirit, a sense of calm that comes over you, when you cease needing all the attention directed toward yourself and instead allow others to have the glory.

Our need for excessive attention is that ego-centered part of us that says "Look at me. I'm special. My story is more interesting than yours." It's a voice inside of us that may not come right out and say it, but that wants to believe that "my accomplishments are slightly more important than yours." The ego is that part of us that wants to be seen, heard, respected, considered special, often at the expense of someone else. It's the part of us that interrupts someone else's story, or impatiently waits his turn to speak so that he can bring the conversation and attention back to himself. To varying degrees, most of us engage in this habit, much to our own detriment. When you immediately dive in and bring the conversation back toward you, you can subtly minimize the joy that person has in sharing and in doing so, create distance between yourself and others. Everyone loses.

The next time someone tells you a story or shares an accomplishment with you, notice your tendency to say something about yourself in response.

Although it's a difficult habit to break, it's not only enjoyable but actually peaceful to have the quiet confidence to be able to surrender your need for attention and instead share in the joy of someone else's glory. Rather than jumping right in and saying, "Once I did the same thing" or "Guess what I did today," bite your tongue and notice what happens. Just say, "That's wonderful" or "Please tell me more," and leave it at that. The person you are speaking to will have so much more fun and, because you are so much more "present," because you are listening so carefully, he or she won't feel in competition with you. The result will be that the person will feel more relaxed around you, making him or her more confident as well as more interesting. You too will feel more relaxed because you won't be on the edge of your seat, waiting your turn.

Obviously, there are many times when it's absolutely appropriate to exchange experience back and forth, and to share in the glory and attention rather than giving it all way. I'm referring here to the compulsive need to grab if from others. Ironically, when you surrender your need to hog the glory, the attention you used to need from other people is replaced by a quiet inner confidence that is derived from letting others have it."

When I find that I am going a little overboard on photos of Everett or updates about many of the things he's doing, I back off and end up deleting the app off my phone to prevent myself from doing so. It's difficult not to share everything there is about Everett but for the sake of my followers and readers, I tone it down a bit.

I think Facebook has belittled the opportunity for people to have a little bit of humility. It creates a huge sanctuary for people to do just the opposite; brag, show off, whine, and complain. Others know the fine line and for those, I genuinely enjoy staying in touch. I think they use it purposefully. I admit though that when someone tells me they just "ate a sandwich," I want to tell them "I just took a dump" or "I just flicked a booger on the wall" but instead, I just chuckle to myself.

Humility isn't an easy virtue to have and I work each day to have a sense of it. I also greatly admire those who have it. Something about it gives me more respect and sincerity towards them.

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" is a small, quick read and I would encourage you to read it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Boy Playing

I remember when Everett was playing with simplistic toys such as plastic rings and water bottles. His playtime involved me surrounding him with little baby toys while with such effort, he worked so hard to turn, shake, and rattle them. Now, he's mobile and plays like such a big boy like this:

He's very into cars lately and loves driving them everywhere. On the floor, on the walls, and any other surface he can find.

Everett turned 20 months yesterday. Are we really only 4 months from the big TWO?!