I often refer to myself as a creature of habit. I love my routines. I love following the same set of steps, regularly and repeatedly. It gives me a sense of security – a sense of comfort. I don’t like too much change and I can struggle to deal with it. You can make your own conclusions about what that means in terms of my general psychological state (I know I have), but I don’t mind. At the age I’ve reached, I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin.
This post is a bit of a companion piece to my post from last week, where I talked about my belief that our public discourse could do with a big injection of generosity of spirit. What, you didn’t read it? Well you better go and read it right now – it’s really amazingly perceptive and deep (or so I’ve managed to convince myself).
I have a theory about why it seems to be so difficult for so many people to behave in this way. I reckon one of the main reasons our discussion has sunk to its current level is because we’re all too busy being outraged.
It may just be me, but I can’t help regularly being blown away by how mean spirited we seem to have become. Everywhere I look, I see examples of it. I see it in the snarky reviews posted on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. In the debates we see in Parliament (or whatever the nearest equivalent is in your country) where politicians are more interested in one-upping each other and scoring points over their opposition than having reasoned and thoughtful debates and discussions. And don’t even get me started on the contents of Twitter, or the comments you see posted on any website where that dubious feature is enabled.
I am a pretty free and easy sort of bloke. I usually don’t like to push myself too hard. I tend to take each day as it comes. I could be accused of wandering through life without a lot of thought or planning. I don’t mind. I have always found that this is the way I operate most effectively. I don’t think I’ve ever written a paragraph before where every sentence begins with the word I. I suppose that’s one of the consequences of such an unplanned attitude to life and everything else.
Every so often, however, I find the need to break myself out of that routine (and did you see what I did there? – this sentence doesn’t start with I). I realise that, much as that laissez-faire attitude generally suits me, there are times when I need to give myself a bit of focus and push myself a little harder. In short, I need to give myself a good kick in the bum.