What’s Your First Reaction? Good Or Bad?

Yesterday, I bought something that I thought a few other people I know might enjoy. When I asked them about it, the first response I received was the fact that what I had bought wasn’t the best and it could have been better.

It was discouraging. When I discussed the reaction with a friend, he mentioned that it wasn’t the first time he had heard a negative reaction coming from an Indian person.

The reaction brought up the question of why so many Indian people do have an automatic negative reaction when you tell them something.

Obviously, not everyone is like this. I know a few people that are amazingly positive. However, I am aware that even I do this to. When someone tells me about something good, my first thought is literally a “But…” statement. Why do I even respond this way? If someone tells me something good, shouldn’t my first reaction be a positive one?

Is it an Indian thing? Are we built to always be bringing others down a notch? Why? Is it insecurity? Do we feel insecure that something good happened to someone else? Do we feel as thought we aren’t up to some standard that we have set for ourselves? Are we comparing ourselves against the person who told us the good news? Is everything a competition?

It really sucks when someone has a negative reaction to you when you achieve something good or thought of something nice to do for someone else. It makes us feel as though it’s not worth doing or not worth sharing. As a community, shouldn’t we be supporting each other? Won’t we achieve more together than separate?

It takes a lot of self-awareness to recognize that you do this. But I think if you do see this pattern in your thoughts and reactions, there is a chance that we can correct this aspect of ourselves.

I am going to try to be more positive towards others. Why not? I have nothing to lose other than my negativity.

Cheating Through Life

Recently, I have been experiencing people trying to take advantage of me. And the funny part is I see it happening almost like an out of body experience point of view and I think it’s just a little sad. If I were to put in a pie graph, 20% of people I have encountered are nice and 80% are out to “get someone”, cheat them to get ahead.

I recently got in an accident. Luckily, I was okay. Little setup: The accident happened near south central LA. As I was calling my insurance trying to figure things out, 2 tow truck owners came to the scene and started asking questions. I had to ask them to hold back so I could talk to my insurance. Then, another tow truck showed up a few minutes later, parked behind the other two, and then took off. I resolved everything with my insurance company and they were sending a tow truck. I told the tow truck guys, “sorry but the insurance can’t approve you over the phone since they have a system”. The guys were super nice and said, “hey no problem, just here to help. we’ll kick back in case things take long with your insurance”.

The insurance was suppose to take 45 minutes or less but they were taking a lot longer, over an hour. I called them back to get a status and apparently, they were backlogged. A little notification to the waiting client would have been nice. So I waited. Then, a tow truck showed up saying “Mercury? Mercury?” (the name of my insurance). Naturally I said “YES!”. He proceeded to be nice, very nice actually, introduced himself, and said “Coo man, let me set you up.” He proceeded to attach the car to the tow truck. I found it a little weird that he didn’t ask for my license or Mercury card. But I figured that was being handled by the insurance company somehow and they were just trying to get me on the way. I had been waiting over an hour and was just happy someone from the company finally showed up.

He hooked up the car to the tow truck and when I got in to the tow truck, I asked him if we were going to Fix Auto Body Shop which is where my insurance told me we were going. He said “Oh nah man, they changed it to one local to here. Yeah, yeah it’s over here”. A red flag went up.  Unfortunately, we were already on the way. I didn’t want to create a scene. Obviously, this was a semi-kidnap scene.

He proceeded to be a great friend all about putting me at ease.

Now we get to the body shop “Impact Body Shop”. The owner makes me wait a few minutes. Then, he asks me what happened. Weird, I thought the insurance would tell him that. The he asks “what insurance do you have”. SHIT, 2nd Red Flag. It was then that I realized the tow truck guy was the same as the one that pulled up second on the scene. He talked to the other gentlemen there to ask what my insurance was… DUH!

So I was able to stall him and get back to Mercury and get another tow truck which got me to the right body shop. After 5 hours.

So, why do people lie? Cheat? Their fellow human beings? Is this survival of the fittest?

How can we become so low as a society to come to this?

Bear with me, I am not ranting about anyone specific in LA. I have had the SAME experience of people trying to cheat me in London and back at home in India.

Over the past month, the balance of people being nice vs. being nice to get me has been really skewed.

I can only thank my parents for raising me in a way to stay strong and hold my ground. I get the true value of their teachings and an even more heightened respect for them. I often said, “oh dad/mom don’t worry”. Now, I get why they worried. I get what I need to do when I bring a kid into this world. I get it. But I can’t help but think how sad the whole thing is. Human nature, survival of the fittest.. it makes you grow some balls.

Yes, I’m Being a Hypocrite by Writing This Post

I’ve been really pissed off lately. I was trying to figure out where all of this anger was coming from and I realized that a lot of it is watching the hypocritical behavior in others.

I want to be completely honest. I’m a hypocrite too. Especially for writing this particular entry. How can I judge someone else being hypocritical when this entire post is about not judging and not being hypocritical? I get angry at people for being who they are and being unforgiving and being self-centered. If I was truly not hypocritical, I wouldn’t do that. I would be more accepting and kind and really just more nice towards others. I’m just glad I’m aware enough to know that my opinion makes my whole post exactly what I’m trying to write about.

On that note, I know maybe 4 people in my life that are truly nice and kind towards other people, even if they have been wronged by them. These are the saints I know. Trust me, I’m not even close to being that kind of person no matter how much I’d love to be.

Anyways, back to the hypocritical people. There are people I have seen mistreated and judged and then I see those same people who have judged them doing the same types of things they are advising against. There are people who act like they know everyone and want be everyone’s friend yet I watch them fail at being someone’s friend when they needed to be there for that person. It’s ridiculous. Why is this happening? Why do people think they are allowed to be rude to others?

I am aware that I should be tactful and kind and nice to everyone. You know the saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.” It’s become hard for me to do that. If someone has wronged me, I have grown tired of holding my tongue and being kind and not saying anything. It’s not that I want to spread bad things about the person but if someone asks me if I know them and I have nothing nice to say, I’ve started saying it. The sad part is whatever I have said is the truth. It’s a consistent opinion. I know that doesn’t make it okay that I say anything but I have started to hate feeling guilty for telling the truth bluntly.

A friend of mine wrote a post in Facebook where he mentioned that people have stopped taking responsibility for their own behavior. 100% true. I feel like people have started feeling like they are entitled to everything. They are allowed to treat people however they want and if they are lucky, they are always around people who are much nicer than they themselves are and who won’t say anything.

How long will this go on? When are we allowed to be honest? When are we allowed to say that we have been treated badly?

Let me make one thing clear. I have treated others badly in my past (and probably in my present). Not necessarily on purpose but it has happened. And I’d like to think that I’m a big enough of a person to have apologized for my behavior when I realize that I have hurt someone or said something I shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, most of the time, I find apologizing a one way street. I know that I do it for my inner peace but I have watched so many people just assume that that meant that they were right and that really burns me.

I realize that this post was more of a rant but I feel as though I have started getting cynical because I’ve been around people that I can respect. I see more and more of this self-centered, hypocritical behavior and it makes me wonder how we as a community are ever going to get anywhere in life.

I’m calling out all of you that have been hypocrites at some point. Recognize that you are doing more damage to our community as a whole for having double standards. Recognize that no one is entitled and that everyone needs to be kinder and more accepting of others. Recognize that we all make mistakes and nothing makes you a better or stronger person that taking responsibility for those mistakes.

I apologize for being a hypocrite by judging those who are hypocrites.

Oh NO, I’m caring!

As I was writing today’s post, I realized that I needed to start a new one. The reason for that was that I was thinking too much about what if I offend someone or they don’t agree with me. So now, somehow, I am caring what people think about what I write. The purpose of this blog was to bring up issues and thoughts that most people won’t say out loud. I am not supposed to censor myself. But here I am, doing exactly that. So I decided to start over and to write about why should I care what people think.

I want people to enjoy what I’m writing about as well as really start thinking about issues that are brought up in these posts. I forget that it’s not all about how many views you have or how many likes you have just because the numbers make me feel validated. It makes me feel like I’m doing something useful in this world when I see a lot of people liking my posts.

Here’s the thing. I’m not doing this for the numbers. That wasn’t my original goal. I’m doing this to talk about things that hadn’t been talked about. And that includes censoring myself for no reason. That includes most of us censoring ourselves because we think someone might not like us or might criticize us.

Why do we worry so much about this? Yes, we should be discerning and tactful in what we say but at the same time, why are we so worried that someone is immediately going to dislike us because we say what is on our minds? Most likely than not, that person is worrying about what he/she will say rather than what you’re going to say.

We all want to be liked, accepted. There are people that will come into your life and will like you and there are people that will not. This happens to everyone. So maybe we should just be confident in what we are trying to say and say it. We know that our intentions are not bad. If someone takes something the wrong way, they can discuss with you and listen to what you actually meant or they can dislike you for it and walk out of your life. At the end of the day, if someone does not like you for something you said (true or not), it is their problem. As long as you are not intentionally being rude or mean, saying what you’re thinking should not be a huge deal. You are allowed to express yourself.

I have learned over the years that if you worry too much about what you say, things get left unsaid. Sometimes, everyone is thinking it and no one wants to say it. Sometimes, it’s that one thought that crosses one mind that can solve a problem or help someone. Sometimes, it might be that one thing that gets said that prevents a bigger problem from happening. I don’t want to make this sound like you’re saving the world by saying what you’re thinking but I still want you to believe that it might. And it might. All of the great people who have fought for freedom or for change are people who didn’t care what others thought and said what needed to be said.

So believe in yourself. Believe in what you have to say. Believe that your words count.