Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years Resolutions

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions - I make lifetime resolutions. In other words, if I see in my life some sort of behavior or item that is bothering me, I try to cut it out. A very good example of this was my weight several years ago. I was big, had kids, was out of shape, well on my way to a diabetes diagnosis by the time I was 50 - so I started to drink less, get in shape and am now in pretty decent shape. The holidays were hell on me, but dropping 10 pounds is no big deal for me. Dropping the 40 I needed to drop several years was definitely harder. A lifestyle change.

The past few months while blogging, and in my daily routine I have come upon many people who don't really have anything to add to my life, but keep reentering it. I have received vile comments on the blog, nasty emails and have been exposed to general stupidity of the level most persons simply could not believe.

I have banned the nasty commenters and I simply delete the emails. The person to person contact however, I cannot avoid, whether it be at work, a store, a restaurant or a party.

So the lifestyle change I think I need to adopt is to mentally "delete" those who are actively trying to get a rise out of me. Also I need to "delete" those who are "kool-aid" drinkers. I honestly love an interesting debate about topics like social security or unions or different forms of government. The problem I encounter most times is that the person who wants to "engage" me already has a set outline of dogma that they are going to stick with, no matter how many volumes of evidence you give to them that they are wrong.

You may have experienced this. Lets say you are discussing social security with someone and they will not admit that as is, the system will be totally broke in several years (estimates vary, but everyone says that it will be broke eventually if something doesn't give). How much more can you engage this person? I run into this time and time again. When presented with overwhelming evidence that their position may need some consideration certain people simply will not change or even consider changing their position.

I understand that I am speaking in circles a bit here. But for the new year (and as another lifestyle change) I have resolved that if I am engaged in a conversation with a totally unreceptive party, that I will mentally "delete" them from my internal comment list. Of course I will be polite, but will just try to change the subject and move on. Sounds goofy, maybe. But there it is.

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