Monday, February 24, 2014

When kindness is misunderstood

 I said that I wouldn't post until March 5, but I need to get this off my chest.
A society that venerates rewards, exchange of favors and money treats kindness with suspicion. Making a new friend here is tough. When I connect with a person in meaningful ways, I am kind to them. Then my attitude is treated with suspicion.
 All of a sudden the new "friend" believes I have secondary intentions of some kind. Who knows what those intentions are. The new friend stands back. Strangely enough, my parents taught me to be kind without expecting anything in return.
 Friendship is about spontaneity, affection and communication. Some people confuse spontaneity and kindness with the idea of a boundary getting trespassed. It may be a cultural mismatch, or a misunderstanding. The new "friend" is distrustful.
 I have finally come to the realization that it is safer to wear a shell and to stick to my old friends. The ones who love me and accept me the way I am.
 I am curious to know if you have encountered similar experiences.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Problems are opportunities

 The double nature of some human beings baffles me.  This poem of mine published by Vox Poetica is about that.
  If you are in the mood to read something uplifting, feel free to check my two poems published in the winter issue of the Greensilk Journal. I'm sure you will be tempted to read the other poets' work too.
 Today I wrote something about "problems".
Even though we may be prone to feel irritated or frustrated when we encounter certain problems that challenge our beliefs, we can also choose to adopt a different attitude: we can  welcome these problems and treat them as unique opportunities to learn something new. We can embrace them with a positive mindset.
  Problems are challenges that invite us to think of creative solutions.
 They can encourage us to ask questions.
 From my own personal experience in the workplace I conclude that whenever problems are a consequence of conflicts related to communication in human relationships there are three elements that are relevant to handle these situations:
-the art of listening
-the art of non-judgmental persuasion
-the art of negotiation
   The goal of this post is to emphasize that a problem may have the potential to improve something. This does not always happen, though. Sometimes we know there are boundaries that we cannot trespass, no matter how hard we try to make things better. There are situations that are out of our control, and our scope of action is limited. However, we can accept these situations knowing that we have tried our best.  And these unique situations may have taught us something about ourselves, others, or the world we live in.

 I will publish my next blog post on March 5.