Friday, September 25, 2020

Lessons Learned from Being SAD (Social At a Distance) and Not Sad!

Please know this is not a complaint.

Being physically distant is important currently.

Being socially distant is something that is negatively impacting people's lives, emotions, and their outlook.

From the late part of March, I have encouraged people to use the expression "Social At a Distance" rather than calling our recommended physical separation "Social Distancing". While these are similar words, the impact can be much different from one to the other.

Still, while this may encourage you to rephrase the concept, I also reflect on what Social At a Distance also can mean - being SAD. Hmmmm...when someone is sad, are they wrong to be or feel that way? No. So, when someone is SAD, are they wrong to be or feel that way? Some say yes. Still, I feel like we are doing what we can by remaining Social At a Distance, and here are some lessons I have learned from the experience:

  • Eyes are expressive and making eye contact on video or in person, really makes a difference in engagement - at any distance
  • Words matter, so speaking to people and acknowledging them, even with a "Hello" or "Good Morning" has a positive impact
  • Leaving a message or sending a text or email asking for nothing and yet sharing that the person is on your mind and you wish them well, can make someone feel less lonely than without it
  • A driveway hello or masked engagement is replacing a hug or a handshake, and while they are different than we'd like, they a special, too.
  • Walk and talk meetings have the benefits of being distanced while covering distance, and that may be a standard approach to meetings moving forward
  • Embracing the reason for being Social At a Distance means keeping the future in mind during this present change in behavior

With these lessons learned in mind, it keeps me happy, or at least positive, about being SAD versus being sad about the situation!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Power of Pride VS. Vanity's Vastness

 "One may be humble out of pride."

~ Michel de Montaigne

French Philosopher

(1533 - 1592)

While often pride and vanity are used interchangeably and used in a negative tone or implication, there is a difference to be considered regarding pride and vanity.

While both have been blamed for many downfalls and failures, perhaps it is only when pride crosses over to vanity that such is true.

How so?

Pride has a good, solid, positive place in our lives, if we know it as such and use it as a guide and not a lever. Vanity, though, is much like pride run amok, and pride gone wrong or too far, in that vanity serves us as a gauge of belonging and/or superiority in our own minds.

For example(s):

  • Pride has us double-check information, where vanity makes us feel as though we are always right.
  • Pride has us review our look for being professional, where vanity tells us "Look at me!"
  • Pride has us wanting to do good work, where vanity screams "My work is the best"
  • Pride has us wanting to learn and engage to grow, where vanity leads us to thoughts of "I am the smartest in the room"
  • Pride has us do for others (sure, perhaps to feel good, too), where vanity evokes thoughts of "I worked for this, so nobody else deserves it"
  • Pride has us admit and own our errors, where vanity has us looking for someone or something to blame

So the next time you question motives, even your own, ask a simple question of is this pride or vanity? The distinction will assist you in knowing, and even appreciating, if the person, yes, even if it is you, is coming from a place that is powerfully empowered and fueled to do well (pride), or shallow and simple with the fuel to spread into a vastness of nothingness and the not-needed. 

Pride can either keep us from being vain or spill over into vanity. The challenge for each of us is to recognize, appreciate and value pride's place, and strive to keep vanity at bay...with, through, and sometimes in spite of the perception of, pride!