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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Add One More Less-Than-Ennobling Behavior

Readers who have visited this bell curve often over these nine and one-half years could have easily caught me being annoyed or frustrated at least once or twice. Anger, sadness, and shame have also also made infrequent visits here, though I hope not enough that anyone was ever tempted to deposit me in the over-sharing basket. Which of those five less-than-ennobling behaviors has been a visitor in your life? If you answer "none", I'm ready to watch you do that walk-on-water bit.   

Beware of those who use absolutes. Doing so usually reveals how little someone is paying attention to their words. For example, if I claimed I'd never been bored, I would expect someone to challenge that absolute. But I can say this: Boredom - unlike anger, annoyance, frustration, sadness, or shame - is so foreign to me, hearing someone use the word stops me cold. Wanting to be elsewhere, disinterested, unengaged, OK. But bored? Really? How?

Paraphrasing Augusten Burroughs, although being happy is nice, being interested is essential. New authors, new music, purple flowers. Old movies, old friends, children giggling. Birds singing, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a mystery car ride. That's my list. What's on your short list of things that keep you interested? In my experience, people who are interested are often interesting. As unkind as it may be to assert, the obvious corollary to that is that people who are bored are often boring. And now, Father, you can add unkind to Pat's list of less-than-ennobling behaviors.


  1. I often used the word curiosity but interested also works. I like to learn, have ah ha moments, feel joy and pleasure.

    1. Ines; I would agree that curious and interested are closely related. Thanks for the comment.

  2. My initial reaction to today’s blog would be ‘hmmm’. And not because the things you’ve listed are foreign to me. Quite the contrary, in fact. And although I’ve experienced each of those, in varying degrees at different times in my life, I’ve discovered that as I’ve gotten older and more settled each one seems to be less of an issue. Except for maybe sadness. Mostly for loss of family and friends than anything else.
    But I do find that I’ve held onto one thing that you’ve not listed. And although it seems to be mainly, but not entirely, confined to when I’m driving ( as my wife likes to remind me) I would have to add ‘impatience’. But, I’m working on it and hope to see some improvement ... one day ... maybe ...

    1. Anonymous; Thanks for the comment. My list was not meant to be an all-inclusive one - by any means - because I too periodically succumb to impatience, the kissing cousin of frustration. I like your "...maybe ...one day..." conclusion as well; tells me you're someone who knows none of us is ever "there"; the journey is endless, as frustrated and impatient as that can make us. My motto every time I fail is saying to myself "Begin, again".