Jay Rifenbary

Jay Rifenbary's Blog

A Little Consideration - Makes a Big Difference


To be considerate of another is to be respectful of humanity. As a society, are we becoming less considerate? With technology dominating so much of our time and attention, and the continued trend toward greater face-to-smartphone interaction rather than face-to-face interaction, what do you believe the answer to be? Considerate is defined as, "showing kindly awareness or regard for another's feelings, circumstances, etc." How considerate is it to cyberbully? How considerate is it to be ill mannered? How considerate is it to be judgmental, bigoted and cynical? How considerate is it to use profanity and be verbally abusive? How considerate is it to be self-centered, egotistical and narcissistic? I firmly believe the less we interact face-to-face the less cognizant we are of the destructive nature of these behaviors, and therefor more inconsiderate of one another. How can one be empathetic when one is less understanding of the complexities of human emotion, and the hurt associated with inconsideration?

Terms associated with being considerate are kind, thoughtful, respectful, amiable, polite, sympathetic and unselfish to name a few. Is the constant use of technology heightening or lowering the understanding of the importance of such positive behaviors. When was the last time you discussed those behaviors with your children, or made a concerted effort to have them break away from their smartphone for a second and be considerate of what you or someone else is saying and/or doing? To be considerate is to initiate what it means to enjoy being human. The acknowledgement of another with a smile or a warm greeting, the respect demonstrated to another by being polite, or a genuine friendship being enhanced by talking, listening, feeling and sharing are all examples of uplifting the human experience. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

Throughout my travels I constantly witness the impact of technology on consideration. There is no need to smile, be polite, talk, listen, feel or share anything when your head is buried in your isolated technological bubble of apps, computer games, social networking, etc. The ease at which many ignore others, or their surroundings, as they consume themselves in the digital world hinders the understanding of what a genuine and meaningful relationship involves. Technology is amazing, will continue to expand, and has created global awareness, but how much attention is being paid to add balance and ensure a belief in the beauty and importance of true human interaction? Emphasizing the value of relationships, family, community and service to others sustains a respectful and considerate society. Tragically, the more one removes them self from the human experience the easier it is to become less caring, and less sensitive to the needs of others.

As with any endeavor, including the building of human relationships, it takes effort. To be inconsiderate takes little effort and therefore generates little success in building successful relationships. It also reinforces another common trend of an acceptance of lowering the bar when it comes to expected behaviors, and breeds laziness, apathy and a lack of self-respect.

Eight steps to being more considerate are, * Set the example. * Remember to treat others as you wish to be treated. * Make an effort to engage another when appropriate, rather than ignore them. * Make it a habit to emphasize and execute a behavior that displays consideration. * Consistently mentor your children in the behaviors that exemplify being considerate. * Discuss with your children how being considerate relates to the core values of your family. * Make a commitment to take a break from technology, and enhance what it means to be human. * Instill manners in your children, as it is the foundation for demonstrating consideration. To display a character of consideration is to display a considerate spirit of love, compassion and empathy toward others.

Friday, August 07, 2020

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