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Far to go / loving and giving - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Far to go / loving and giving
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sebastienne From: sebastienne Date: May 14th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
(this comment brought to you by severe sleep-deprivation; I make no promises about sense or coherence)

But I am weary, weary, weary of being constantly made fun of by colleagues for trying to do the right thing, for trying to think about what the right thing is in situations, for trying not to be selfish; I am tired of getting snide comments like "oh you're so virtuous"

I get this, so much. When I started my new job people were doing it over the fact that I *reuse waste paper & envelopes*, FFS! There are some people around whom I cannot order meat-free food without a rant about how I'm so good and they could never...

The way I tend to think about it is that it's their guilt talking. They know on some level that they should be living more reflective and considerate lives, but they can't quite be bothered, or they have overriding concerns; so when we remind them that it is possible - even make it look easy by integrating it into the fabric of our lives - we make them feel so very guilty.

Which is stupid - the gods know I can be selfish and lazy with the best of them - I don't think that I'm better than anyone, or that anyone has any reason to feel guilty around me; I just do the thing that seems best in the situation that I'm in. If I have any virtue at all, it's just pathological overthinking!
j4 From: j4 Date: May 14th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! This! And IMHO pathological overthinking is more like a curse than a virtue. :-/

I get the snarks about reusing paper as well. Like I'm some kind of saint for having ticked the "duplex" box on the printer settings once 3 years ago, or for having a pile of scrap paper on the corner of my desk & writing on that. HELLO, THESE THINGS ARE NOT HARD. OK, changing the printer settings is hard if you're not IT-savvy, but this is a computing services department! Fair enough if people think it's a waste of time, unnecessary, unhelpful... but in that case, why feel guilty? Guilt suggests they think they should do it, but don't/can't/won't, & when it's something so trivial I really Don't Get It. Yes, I know the trivial things add up, but really, reusing paper is SO INCREDIBLY TRIVIAL that I don't see what would stop them if they actually did think it was in any way worthwhile.

(Someone will now stab me in the face with all the reasons why reusing paper is actually VERY VERY DIFFICULT in their particular workplace. Trust me, at my workplace, it is not difficult at all.)
venta From: venta Date: May 14th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think (based on no evidence, obviously.... this is the internet) that people are guilty about your paper reuse when they are chopping down virgin forest to make shopping list. As you say, it's pretty easy to do.

I think the act that makes people feel guilty is the thought you (generic you, also you personally) put into your actions which results in you reusing paper, running for charity, not driving to the shops in your own personal Hummer which runs on the blood of the unborn, etc. People take the path of least resistance to things which are perhaps slightly easier, slightly cheaper, slightly less effort... and people who consider their actions and don't get those minimal benefits make them feel guilty.

Perhaps unnecessarily guilty... but they don't know, because they haven't done the thinking/sums/whatever to know just how guilty they should be feeling.
redbird From: redbird Date: May 14th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe remind them that reusing paper is easier: this way, I don't have to get up and get scrap paper, I've got a small stack sitting on my desk. And when I'm carrying stacks of paper around, n sheets is easier than 2n; maybe no big deal when n=5, but when n=200, you notice.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 16th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the act that makes people feel guilty is the thought you (generic you, also you personally) put into your actions

That makes sense. I hadn't thought of it like that (at least in part I think because I see the over-thinking-about-actions as more of a curse than a blessing).

I don't think feeling-guilty is a terribly useful thing. Doesn't make it easy to stop doing it though. :-/
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