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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Being the One Less Asshole You Want to See in the World

Warning to the sensitive: Salty Language Alert (a little late for that, though, isn't it?)

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a client about the many opportunities others offer for us to be a jerk. There's the shopping cart commando, blocking you at the grocery aisle. The clerk too busy talking on her cell phone to check you out. The person who curses you in traffic even though they caused the problem, or the friend that says something terribly hurtful. The client noted that at times like that, it seems reasonable to be rude. After all, you have a right to get mad when someone is being an asshole to you.

I agreed. I also agreed we had a right to a tension headache, high blood pressure, and a clenched jaw— but who wants them? What if, even when or even especially when others are assholes, we decide not to be? That would mean one less asshole in the room—and that's always a good thing.

And thus a new world movement was born: One Less Asshole, or OLA, baby, for short.

This isn’t just Pollyanna sentimentality. We’ve reached the world’s carrying capacity for jerkiness. It’s just not that big of a planet. And kindness is good for you. It can turn a situation around in amazing ways.  Even if it doesn’t, there’s still one less asshole in the room.

So do your part, for an hour or a lifetime. Become an OLA supporter. When someone is rude to you, don’t react. As Plato said, “Be kind. Each of us is fighting a hard battle”. It could be your reasonable response is enough to tip their balance in a positive direction. But at minimum, you don’t have to get tipped.

For more information and related links, join the movement at the OLA, BABY facebook group.

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