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Hospitals

Full disclosure: I’ve never been admitted into a hospital myself.

I’ve had several experiences in hospitals with sick family members which tell me that hospitals are full of some of the most talented and compassionate people on earth.

With my ex-wife, I experienced hospital stays for 4 births and 3 miscarriages. Nurses and doctors at the time were  extremely caring and attentive (about half of these experiences were with an HMO by the way).  When my oldest son was a toddler and I had to rush him to the local Children’s Hospital because he couldn’t breathe in the middle of the night I swear those people were angels. I admire and respect people who work in hospitals.

The same rules apply there as in any other service industry – you need to speak up and tell them what you need, want, or expect and ask lots of questions.

That’s not to say all my hospital experiences have been warm and fuzzy. My Mom was induced into a coma at one, never came out of it and then after she died they failed to perform the required autopsy in a timely manner so that we could have closure over her cause of death. But even then the vast majority of talent there was doing the best with what they knew. And part of that was also due to some family members making some emotional and irrational decisions.

Crowds

As a tribal species it seems a bit surprising that you hear people complain about crowds as much as they do.

I like them.

I can think of several awesome activities I’ve done, or that are on my list of things to do, that involve lots and lots of people:

  • Attend Burning Man
  • Pass a New Year at Times Square
  • March on Washington for a causeI REALLY believe in
  • Participate in a local Japanese festival
  • Attend an Olympic Ceremony
  • Ride a Tokyo Subway at rush hour
  • Dance at Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro

I think what people really mean is that they hate waiting. Crowds often involve waiting and that does indeed suck. Waiting 2 hours in line for a ride a Disneyland… or waiting for a parking spot at a crowded beach..not fun. But the crowds themselves are usually great fun.

Cyclists

Full disclosure: I’m a cyclist.

People love to hate cyclists because we’re hard to see and think we own the road.

First of all, we do. I also drive a car and pay my registration. I pay for the roads as much as the guy driving too close to me in his Hummer. As a cyclist I also chuckle at those comments because most of us are acutely aware that we are moving targets without any protection.

Cars have airbags and drivers are encased in metal.

Cyclists have a helmet – that’s it. Cyclists that I know  do everything possible to avoid pissing off drivers. I don’t know how many drivers go to such lengths in their cars.

As a driver, I rarely have an interaction with a cyclists that I consider negative… at least no more than with other car drivers. Maybe I’m looking out more for cyclists because I am one of them. In any case it seems cache to hate cyclists but I think it’s usually bad driving that is the root of the problem.

People Talking on Their Cell Phones in Public

Who doesn’t talk on their phone in public these days?

Yet, I still hear people get their undies in a wad when someone is near them talking on a cell phone. I don’t get how it’s much different than two people standing nearby just having a conversation. The only difference is that you can only hear half of the conversation and I’m guessing THAT’s what really irritates people.  The nosy in all of us feels that if we should have to hear someone talking near us then we deserve to hear it ALL.

I confess I’m nosy. I like eavesdropping and I’m grateful I get to hear even half of the conversation. It sometimes makes for  a fun story to tell someone later. I know some people talk a little louder on the phone and that’s partially the irritation. But again, do people complain as much about two people talking loudly nearby? Not so much.

Cell phone exist so that we can talk anytime and anywhere… and so that I can now hear that lady on her cell at the airport consulting with her friend about how upset she is at her husband and why. I LOVE it!! That’s better than reality TV!

Reality TV

Speaking of which, I love reality TV too! It just seems to be one of those genres at which people love to turn up their noses.

It’s probably the same people who claim to watch Public Television… but the ratings don’t lie. I’m not the only one in the country who is game for watching a bit o’ white trash bad-mouthing!

Granted, I do have my standards and specific tastes. I can’t stand the dating reality shows or anything beginning with “Real …”, “Jersey …” or a person’s name. But give me a reality competition and I’m in for the full season baby!

Mothers Nursing in Public

I seriously don’t get the big deal AT ALL.

Maybe I should have been more general here and listed “skin” as the thing that doesn’t bother me like it seems to bother everyone else. But I’ve rarely seen skin when a woman nurses. Most women I know cover themselves quite respectfully and nurse under a little blanket.

Of course, I’ve seen the unseemly side of nursing too… once as a missionary in Brazil I sat dumbfounded on a chair as a 5 year old walked up to his mother sitting across from me and with whom I was engaged in conversation and just lifted up his mom’s blouse, pulled her very large breast out, and began sucking while standing next to her over the arm of the couch. And the mother didn’t even blink!

Still, it was the age and mobility of the child that shocked me most about that episode, not the skin I observed.

Lying

EVERYONE lies. I do. And it’s fascinating to see when  kids catch on that society expects and rewards it. I once gave my kids a big lecture on telling the truth and then moments later expected them to dish out an undeserved compliment to a relative. In essence I expected them to lie.

Lying is a social skill. What people actually don’t like is to be lied TO.

There are boundaries and limits to lying obviously. It’s all about reciprocity. I’ll tell you that I love your new sweater if you’ll tell me that I look 5 years younger. But, I expect you to not provide misinformation on the weightier matters. In return I’ll tell you when I’m no longer into you.

In fact, isn’t that really what charisma is?  Lying sincerity? Playing a game or participating in a sporting event all involve lying… faking left but going right.

The Success of Others

I really don’t begrudge anyone’s good fortune in life. It bugs me to hear people say, “Oh I hate him. He just got a promotion.” Or, “He got his lucky break. Son of a bitch.” We teach our children the good sportsmanship of congratulating their victor at young ages but seem to forget the lesson in real life ourselves.

Most successful accomplishments are not limited by supply and demand. There’s rarely any connection between your good fortune and my misfortune.

Obviously some things are competitive and there will only be one winner. Only one candidate gets the new job. But for my own peace of mind and good karma, I rejoice in the successes of others. My success may just lie somewhere else.

Flip-Floppers

I see the ability to change one’s mind as a good thing. If your original viewpoint was based on faulty information, having the humility and courage to change your mind is admirable. The truth is that very few people have the balls to admit they were wrong.

In fact, I really don’t understand people who are the same person they were 10 years ago. If you still express the same opinions and the same tastes then you’re not growing and learning.

Take politics for example. Of all the things Mitt Romney is accused of in this election season, being a flip-flopper is the least that concerns me. Of course, I believe his opinions have regressed rather than progressed, but the mere fact that he has changed them shouldn’t be a source of scorn.

Enthusiasm/Exuberance

I love, no, I ADORE someone who finds more enthusiasm, or enjoyment in something than I do. But it’s strange how over exuberance makes some people uncomfortable. I was floored the first time, at age 15 that I attended a gospel revival concert, as in black gospel music. I’d never before seen adults show such outward joy and pleasure.

By contrast, I was extremely underwhelmed the first LDS temple dedication I attended where I participated in the traditional “hosanna shout.” BORING! Then I began to notice how joyfulness and celebration were missing from the entire Mormon culture.

I’ll take the gospel concert any day.

I’m not talking about faked cheerfulness here.

I’m talking about real, honest to goodness exuberance…like a child on Christmas morning…or a dad who witnesses his daughter score a soccer goal.

Love that stuff.

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