Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our Reactions to Encounters

A writer writes!

Every day we encounter many influences which impact decisions we make.  Many encounters require a mental on the spot decision on our part.  That decision may also be a value judgment.  What if you encounter someone standing at a stop light near the entrance or exit of a highway asking for money?  Do you feel sorry for that person or question the validity of their needing to be there?  Your decision will impact whether you roll down your window to give them money, or if you later go on line to give to an organization that feeds the homeless.  Or maybe your encounter motivates you to write a letter to an elected official complaining about people begging at inappropriate places.

Every day we encounter opportunities where follow up options exists.  An on the spot decision is sometimes needed.  Our values at times dictate what action we take.  How we emotionally feel at that moment is another factor impacting our decision.  If our focus is somewhere else the encounter may not fully have our attention.  If you are headed to the hospital in response to an emergency phone call from a family member, your thought process may not be the same as if you were having a quiet leisurely day.

Understanding yourself, the influences of the day, and your current emotional state are all factors in our reactions to encounters.  That quote, "It's a  matter of timing" truly explains some of the actions we take.  If we all had the ability to stop time and reflect before acting, many of our negative actions would not have occurred.  But, we all don't have stop watches where we can stop time and do an assessment of the situation.  How do we improve our ability to make better decisions?  Understand and think about those values you have that make up the foundation of who you are.  Think about what you represent and stand for.  From that foundation should come the ability to make follow-up on the spot decisions that reflect who you are.

When some events happen in our lives, people say, "I didn't know they were like that."  The fact is only we know who we really are.  We make conscious efforts to keep some aspects of our thoughts or actions a secret.  People do not really want to be an open book to everyone.  If just doesn't work that way.  But, in order to fit into the daily existences we all have to display acceptable behaviors and actions.

To react positively to events, we all need to call time out and determine just who we are as an individual.  Absent all of the outside influences in this life, what do we individually value, care about and why?  Take time to reflect on what you value and why.  Then apply that to your daily encounters.

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