Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Recriminations or solutions

A lot of people, faced with a situation where something isn't how it should be, spend an amount of time and energy on being upset about that, and complaining, and tossing recriminations, and similar tactics, that I find hard to understand. But when it comes down to it, I think I'm the odd one here. I have an unusually good ability to get the grumping out of my system quickly, put it away, and then move on to productive solutions, to "what can we do to make the best of this?" approaches.

Probably if you put people on the witness stand and asked them which way is better, in the stark, dry light of logic, most people would agree that my way is the better way, the more sensible way. If you asked most people if they, personally, ought to turn the dial more towards focusing on solutions or more towards focusing on blame, they'd almost always agree that it should be more towards focusing on solutions. But people don't turn the knob that way. Is it because they can't, is that something that's innate (or at least fixed-by-childhood), or is it that they don't really want to, that they take comfort from their outrage, or identify it as part of their personality? Or maybe they don't really want to give it up because they're afraid "giving in" is the same as "surrender" and that that's what encourages the rest of the world to let things be wrong in the first place; is this all just a restatement of the action hero's cry, "Never surrender!"?

Being the person who's left-brained, sensible, driven towards making the best of things, the one who does still have a crusader but who puts his costume away a lot quicker than most, I don't exactly feel like I'm gifted. As Adrian Monk would say, it's a gift... and a curse. On top of how exhausting it is to be doing all the things that need to be done, it's also exhausting to be constantly shepherding all the crusaders down from their soapboxes, calming them down, and encouraging them to actually pick up some tools and help make the best of what's left, and then having to do it again the minute something else makes them get back into a righteous outrage. I don't think people really have any idea how exhausting that can get to be.

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