Ben Franklin was a wise guy, not to be confused with a wiseguy

From Ben Franklin’s Moral Chart- “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”

From Ben Franklin’s Action-Inducing Lessons- “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

So, what can we say about the amazing Ben Franklin? Aside from his affinity of making lists and inventing some amazing stuff, he was also very wise. While it’s rumored that he didn’t exactly follow his own advice, particularly when it came to women and booze, he worked towards ambitious and wholesome goals. Now you ask, how could this possibly have anything to do with my goals pertaining to “Right Speech“? Well, it’s funny you should ask… 🙂

Basically I went to my good friend’s graduation ceremony today (way to go Danielle!) it occurred to me that people are rude. Get a bunch of people in a very large room together and you’ll notice this more often than not. But the above quotes pertain directly to what I witnessed in that large room. People were chatting idly while the graduates, whom they didn’t know, were gracing the stage. When they did know a particular person, they were screaming and clapping wildly. I even saw people walking out after their grad walked the stage. Not only that, cell phones and inappropriate attire were EVERYWHERE. Now, I’m certainly no saint when it comes to dressing up at occasions or using my phone at the wrong time… I guess when it’s in public, I’m typically on my best behavior. While this pertains exactly to the portion of my list of goals that “people are not perfect”, people seem to just not give a crap unless it affects them directly. That, to me, is rude as hell. I want to believe that other people are not jerks. Constantly, I’m being proved incredibly wrong.

What I learned from today’s adventure in mixed company is that 1) Rude people are everywhere and it’s best to just ignore them before I blow a gasket, 2) You often don’t get a choice in life as to the kinds of people you are forced to be near, like at graduations, and families are included in this. Occasions such as weddings, birthdays and graduations are not necessarily for THAT person, it’s mainly for the friends and families of THAT person to celebrate the occasion. Which is often why people who suck are invited to those things and you and every other guest are forced to be in the same room with those people. 3) I am often one of the more sensibly dressed at special occasions. (Point in case: my grandfather’s funeral. My brother and I were among the best dressed and he was wearing tennis shoes. You can imagine the rest of the clan.) Today was an onslaught of flip-flops, white tank tops, shorts and dresses that were WAY TOO revealing, short, tight or all 3. I was embarrassed for them. And finally the 4th thing I realized from this experience: my graduation in December will be no different and my family is likely to be a participant in something others find objectionable. More than likely, it’ll be my brother F-bombing or insulting someone. 🙂

Then it dawned on me… As annoying as those people were as I was in the audience, people are people and we just have to not be so critical and keep our judging to ourselves. I regret commenting to my friend’s family about how some other audience members were dressed or behaving. It’s not my place to say anything about them. So for that test, I fail. But now I know… and in the words of GI Joe, “knowing is half the battle”.

(Above picture from: http://voiceseducation.org/category/tag/benjamin-franklin)

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~ by wendemachete on May 4, 2012.

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