So, I happen to think that the advice columnist from the Globe & Mail – David Eddie – is a pretty top-notch writer (yes, I’m admitting I read advice columns, ok moving on!!). Not only that though, he generally gives good advice – warmhearted, empathetic, yet also cuts to the chase when someone’s not being a class act.
For example, last week Mr. Eddie posted a little spiel by somebody who was upset their sister rudely canceled on attending a family dinner party. The hostess was upset given the amount of work hosting can entail, yet was unsure of how (or if) to convey her displeasure. Mr. Eddie’s response to this dire social conundrum? “Well, you know, we advice columnists are always counselling people to take the calm, rational route, adopt the long view, be the better person, and la la la. But in this case, I think you should let your sister have it, right between the eyes.”
Ha, ha! Way to go, Mr. Eddie!
But then, he blew the whole kind of trite-advice-on-social-mores thing to a whole other philosophical ballpark by going on to quote: “We teach people how to treat us”. That pulled me up short. Now when it comes to small fry things like getting mad at dinner party cancellations and such, of course there are a lot of people that wouldn’t be fazed one whit and go on with their lives (as many of the G&M comments pointed out). However, to me anyway, the quote supersedes its arguably shallow origins because it’s one of those deeper truths – we do teach other people how to treat us. And that’s the bigger lesson he’s delicately imparting, whether we’re talking about little things or far bigger ones..
So, next time I’m ranting about why so-and-so did or didn’t do x or y, I’m going to take a little look in the proverbial mirror first (but just a short one, as ranting is fun!)