Monday, June 18, 2012

About being polite to one self

We were thought in school and at home with our parents while growing up that we should be respectful and polite to others, and as we grow up we learn and practice some common polite attitudes to others. We learn that we should say "I am sorry" if we bump into someone by accident, or "excuse me" if you are going through a crowd in the subway. But although my parents made a good job with the manners towards other people in the society, I do not remember anything about being polite and respectful to myself.
What does it encompass being polite to one self? My personal opinion about it is that the concept includes respecting your body, fulfilling your own expectations and plans about yourself and reaching out for a better you in any form this may present. To be more precise about these points I'd like to put out some examples about this.

Respecting your body

Our body houses our mind, and for those who believe in it also our soul. Our consciousness and the mere essence of our existence leaves shielded within our body. And since our body can move on its own, we can explore, discover and remember a incredibly vast number of things during our life time. The respect for the body involves several things, among those important for me is its good functioning. We are responsible to put in our body what it needs and not what damages it, as we are equally responsible for keeping it tuned. I remember when I had my car it was always in my best interest to have it fined tuned so it could answer to my very slightest command. If we expect this performance from our machines, why should we expect different from our bodies?. "the ultimate machine" (our body) in the end will be with us as long as there is live in it, so better to respect it for its awesomeness and to treat it politely.

Reaching out for a better you

When we observe the animals in the nature, several things can be observed, and among those there is the fact that animals do not try to improve themselves outside from whatever is related to feeding themselves. In the other hand, we human beings have in our own nature the defiance and the purposefulness of pushing our limits in every aspect of our lives. Imagine the first person who tried to see how high they could jump or how fast they could swim only to find out that they could out do themselves, and they thought "is it really it?" cannot we go higher, move faster, dive deeper?, and I guess the answer was "there has to be more to it" and since then until now, we have always tried to surpass ourselves and others by extension. Beating oneself at what we every day do is a matter of discipline and purpose, which either or in the end we end up coming short of. But as the changes manifest themselves and we start seeing them in ourselves, we become then believers, believers in that it might be true that this force of change also lives inside of us. Respecting ourselves is also reaching out for something better than we are now, "being better" has a personal and unique definition, for some it might being faster, for others, to be able to speak another language, whatever the case, it helps us reach out a little for something, and that as well keep our hearts and our soul alive. After all, we stop living only when we stop wanting something.

Fulfilling the expectations

In this last point of today I will risk repeating myself, but anyway I'll go forth and put it out there. We all have a mental image of how we would like to be, and I'd like to divide this image in the attitude and looks. In the looks I would say goes how we would like to look, we of course have an idea of how we want to be, and how we want people to perceive us. Trying to go towards this point is another way of respecting one self, simply because is part of our self-realization. The second part is the one of the attitudes. How many times we have said to ourselves that we would like to be more punctual or more attentive or a bit ruder to the people who are mean to us at certain times. Attitude change is the hardest I guess because they are trained behaviors that we have practiced for a long time, maybe all our lives. No changes happens overnight, and if we learn to recognize the attitudes we are unhappy with and work a little every day on them, I am almost certain that they will change as times goes by.

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