After Doug and I got married and prepared to combine households, we had to decide how to divvy up stuff. There was a pile for Goodwill, one for family and another to move over to our new place.
Among his treasures was a used particle board office desk. I’d been working on a small computer table since the wildfire, so his desk seemed like a great step up! Now, I’d actually have some drawers and enough workspace to hold a few photos of my handsome hubby!
The only problem? It was covered with scratches and looked like this:
I had no problem working with it, but I WAS a bit embarrassed when clients came to my office. They must have been thinking, “Poor thing; she can’t afford a decent desk. Better pay her lots more money.”
So, being the frugal people we are, we picked up a roll of contact paper to cover the desktop. And this morning, my engineer husband helped me lay it down. Actually HE was the project manager and due to his skills, there’s nary a bubble in sight!
Now my desk looks like this….
I love the clean look! I feel SO much better working on a new surface without the scrapes and scratches. I feel more productive. I get better ideas. And my phone rings more often!
Cleaner environments lead to better behaviors. Studies have shown that when subway cars are cleaned more often, they have fewer incidents of fare-skipping. Neighborhoods without graffiti and broken windows generally experience less crime.
My mom used to tell us when we were kids, “garbage in – garbage out.” Meaning, if we filled our heads with trashy novels, movies, magazines, it would rub off on us. If we hung out with people who talked trashy, we’d end up becoming just like them. She also told us (often), “Birds of a feather flock together.”
Author, Tim Ferris agrees with my Mom. So does Tony Robbins’ early mentor, Jim Rohn. They all say, you are the average of the five people you most associate with.
If the behaviors or language of people you hang out with reflect poorly on you, you CAN change that. Set new expectations or find new friends.
I won’t rehash recent events where trash talk and “mean girl” comments went way, way beyond what most would expect to be appropriate. (We’ve heard quite enough about her.)
But people will justify:
- I was only kidding
- It’s just a joke – can’t you take a joke?
- It’s just business (or politics) – it’s all fair game
- Well, remember when they/he/she said…? (tit-for-tat)
Let’s keep it classy. It IS possible to hold differing positions without degrading one another. The more we sink to lower levels, normalize and justify, the more harm we do to our reputations, relationships, health and outlook on life. And the worse of a role model we are for our youth.
It’s been said we encourage what we tolerate. We promote what we permit, and…
[bctt tweet=”“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” –Edmund Burke” prompt=”tweet this” via=”no”]
When I was a kid and then a teenager, I struggled with weight. (Of course, NOW I’m the spittin’ image of a bikini model!) I got called names like “Lardie Laurie” and “Laurie Jean the jelly bean.” I’m sure many of us have been there – the butt of a joke, the recipient of mean, vulgar comments, mocked and made fun of. For most of us, those experiences weren’t broadcast on TV, radio and every social media platform. We could usually slink away to some safe space, nurse our wounds and try and recover in private.
It’s not so easy today, is it? These things take on a life of their own. But who says we have to accept it? Let’s demand better of ourselves and of others.
And like my Mom used to say as we headed out to meet our friends…
“Be sure and act like a lady!”