Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Importance of Being Polite

OK, so I'm not one of the nicest people on the planet, but I don't care, I need to talk about this.

We've all gone through the stage where our emotions run our lives, where our heart dangles by the tip of our tongues, where there is nothing more important than to express our feelings. Not your family, not your friends, not even your pet dog. YOU are the most important being in the world, and you must be heard.

Well that stage shouldn't last past your 18th birthday, because you should be mature enough to hold your tongue and watch your language, right? I mean, technically you should be responsible enough since you're old enough to drink, drive, and move out and be your own person (note: do not do all three at once, not even two at once). TECHNICALLY. LOGICALLY. THEORETICALLY.

Fact is, I think the opposite is actually happening as we grow older: because we felt adult-like, so we somehow think that our opinions have become even more significant/important even if it's just as childish (if not more) as the thoughts we've had when we're teenagers. And because we are old enough to behave ourselves and shape our identities, we feel even more compelled to speak our minds without really thinking it through beforehand, and uses lame excuses like "I'm just being myself", or "I'm being real" as a shield to protect our useless ego.

I don't like people who uses their identity/personality as an excuse to be mean to others, because it doesn't make sense. Yes, you can be brutally truthful and blunt, but it doesn't mean that the words coming out of your mouth shouldn't be polite. If you want to be honest, go ahead, but don't make people feel like you're above them and they're not worthy of your care and sincerity.

I don't mean to be too specific, but unfortunately I don't have the liberty to be surrounded by many people every other day, and unfortunately of the few that I actually interact with, about half of them are a few different versions of 'mean people'. 

It's not my place to judge anybody, as I've said, I'm not very nice myself to begin with. So when even I want to talk about this issue, you know something is wrong here. Of course, I can't deny that sometimes it's hard to pretend everything is fine when it's 7 levels of hell in your head. Nevertheless, at the very least, I keep my emotions out of assignments and tasks. I've got issues to deal with, but when it comes to projects, I always remind myself to be neutral and be patient, because everyone has their opinions when it comes to group work. I don't necessarily have the best ideas or the best ways to do some things, so it's important to keep a cool head and look at things from a bird's eye view. And if things doesn't work out smoothly, always be patient and discuss with each other with a positive attitude. Be kind. Most importantly, always be polite in the words that is coming out of your mouth/fingertips.

I'm one of those who are deeply appeciative of the geniuses that created keyboards and e-mails and SMS and other social networking sites (SNS) that practically eliminates the need to speak. I'm shy and messed up like that. But it's not completely on my low self-esteem; I realized that sometimes when we speak, particularly when we're stressed or angry and all wrapped up in our feeling-bubble, we tend to say the wrong things that usually makes matters worse and hurt other people. So I preferred typing out my thoughts rather than speaking them; it gives me enough time to process and rationalize my ideas and sentences and sufficient time to remove my emotions from clouding up the real message that I meant to convey to the recipient on the other end.

It's a great invention, the keyboard and SMS. It's just unfortunate that not many knows the benefits of the extra miliseconds we've been given to think properly of the words we chose to use in our sentences. Which is why I'm so frustrated by people who is mean, especially through SNS and e-mails, and those who simply do not know how to communicate properly and politely. It' sad that letters (and e-mails) are what we're taught to write properly back in primany school days, but few actually cared enough to remember and practice writing properly, respectfully, sincerely, and most importantly, politely. 

You don't need to be highly educated or score excellent results in order to be polite in your writing; all you need is Google. The formats are there to provide structure, there are vocabulary lists all over the internet if you don't know how to type properly, and if you're THAT lazy to be polite, at least Google up some samples and copy from there, because at the end of the day, we're all busy people with different priorities. Just because you're having a bad day, doesn't mean that you have to give others a bad time as well. C'mon guys, spread happiness, not hatred. Be polite when you type.