The View from Here by Craig Ruvere

Thoughts about life, love and eveything in between.

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Marriage is about compromise for success

“Marriage is about compromise; it’s about doing something for the other person, even when you don’t want to.” Nicholas Sparks The Wedding

Of the few memories I have of my great-grandmother, one thing I clearly remember was the arduous relationship she had with my grandmother (her daughter-in-law).

My grandmother was very easy to get along with, however, her mother-in-law was the true Italian matriarch – ruling over her roost with an iron fist.

I always found that amusing, given the fact that she lived in a house dominated by males – her husband, my grandfather and his brother. Even so, she had lofty expectations for her children, and wasn’t pleased when each of her boys eventually put their wives ahead of her.

Recognizing how difficult it continually was for my grandmother to deal with her mother-in-law, I was always surprised at how attentive she was to her. As an outsider, one might assume the pair actually liked each other – but that wasn’t the case.

I once asked my grandmother how she could be so nice to someone who wasn’t that nice to her and she told me, “I do it out of respect for your grandfather. That’s what marriage is all about.”

I’ve been married for 15 wonderful years, and I can say with great certainty that marriage is about compromise.

No relationship is perfect

Anyone who believes that being married will provide all the freedoms of independence is just plain naïve. I live by the belief that everything worth anything in life requires work, and being married is no different.

Perhaps what makes the ride easier is the ability to make compromises for the other, even when it goes against what we ultimately want to do. Fawn Weaver once said that, “The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.”

That’s not easy to come by, but when you remove the antiquated stereotypes of “husband and wife” and focus on the commitment you make towards each other, suddenly a great marriage is not out of reach.

If I were ever asked how I’ve been able to stay happily married for over 15 years, I would say with great certainty that marriage is about compromise. It’s about respect and appreciation for each other, not selfishness and spite.

I end with this wonderful quote from Stephen Gaines: “Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.”

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Sensationalism in journalism – a dangerous game

“Those who have gone through the high school of reporterdom have acquired a new instinct by which they see and hear only that which can create a sensation, and accordingly their report becomes not only a careless one, but hopelessly distorted.”Hugo Munsterberg

Let’s face it – journalism of today is all about sensationalism and readership (usually at the expense of the actual story).

Facts and information are typically distorted and taken out of context in order to fit the confines and desires of the writer. But that doesn’t mean the story is an accurate depiction of reality – instead writers are trying to differentiate themselves with the next “big” story, relying very little on substance.

This can be incredibly damaging to the parties associated with the story (subjects, experts, etc.) – especially when the ultimate “spin” of the piece motivates the readers perception down a misleading path.

Last week, I wrote a post on children dying after being left in hot cars by their parents. This is an incredibly sensitive subject and when I came across this article on AutomotiveNews I immediately had a strong opinion – inevitably shaped by how the writer presented the information.

However, when the expert who was quoted in the article discovered my blog, some interesting details began to emerge – one being just how much of his interview was NOT included.

In conversing with him, I discovered that my perception of him and his comments were incredibly distorted – caused by the exclusion of some information and the manipulation of others in order to support the writer’s argument.

My perceptions were immediately skewed based on my previous respect and trust for AutomotiveNews as a reliable source.

Ultimately the article did bring this unfortunate and far too common issue to light – an important function of any journalist.

However, I can’t help but feel that this article has become not only a careless one, but hopelessly distorted – possibly even damaging the reputation and credibility of a man who’s comments were not accurately conveyed.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson. You simply cannot trust stories that you read online (even if they come from a reliable source). The question always comes back to motive, and if that has anything to do with sensationalism and readership, chances are the accuracy may be questionable.

 

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Disrespectful people deserve little respect

“When I look at a person, I see a person – not a rank, not a class, not a title.”

Criss Jami, Killosophy

A gentleman I’m associated with – no scratch that – “a person I’m associated with” (gentleman would imply he’s well-mannered) is quite possibly one of the most disrespectful individuals I’ve encountered to date.

I’m unsure how he’s achieved such an inflated perception of himself, but some of the egotistical and downright pompous things that come out of his mouth are troubling and alarming to me at times. And his behaviors and actions are equally disheartening.

A question of rudeness

He will only socialize and exchange pleasantries with those who can “help” him, or at the very least, those who are equal to him.

He will not extend a “good morning” to you or even involve himself in a relevant conversation unless he deems you worthy of his attention and time. Many simply don’t understand his ultimate motivations and complete disrespect for the people he needs to interact with on a daily basis.

Edmund Burke once said, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

Maybe that’s what’s going on here.

Regardless if the relationship is personal or professional, people will never forget how you treat them – how you ultimately made them feel. It becomes engrained in the hearts and minds of conscientious individuals who deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully – regardless of their position.

In Robert I. Sutton’s book Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…and Learn from the Worst, he writes, “If you are a boss, ask yourself: When you look back at how you’ve treated followers, peers, and superiors, in their eyes, will you have earned the right to be proud of yourself? Or will they believe that you ought to be ashamed of yourself and embarrassed by how you have trampled on others’ dignity day after day?”

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Do you want more out of life?

I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes, regardless of my personal satisfaction, I always want more out of life. I live fairly simply, but on occasion I allow myself to get caught up in the spell of society – the one which manages to convince us all that we need to spend more and buy more in order to be relevant.

But inevitably something pops up and reminds me of my good fortune – today it was the article below:

FRANKLIN, Ohio — A southwest Ohio police officer has befriended a 7-year-old boy police say was trying to sell a teddy bear to buy food.

Many of us are incredibly fortunate, and yet far too often we fail to acknowledge the bounties in our possession. Even when we reach the pinnacle of contentment, it’s not long before we find ourselves still wanting something more.

And I’m just as guilty as anyone.

Are you satisfied?

It seems to me that those who seemingly reap the most benefits in life, are the least grateful for what they have. Instead of looking at things with sincere appreciation, they’re on a continual quest for more out of life, which often represents less in the grand scheme of things.

Like so many others, I’ve worked very hard for the things I have. However, that should never cloud my perception of just has fortunate I am to have been able to do so. It should never reduce me to someone who is rarely satisfied and always looking for more out of life.

In truth, I have plenty and should be humbled by that reality and more appreciative of the bounties before me. But I’m human and that doesn’t always happen. I’m just grateful when I stumble upon a story like the one I mentioned above, for a 7-year-old boy trying to sell his teddy bear for food is enough for me to realize just how fortunate I am.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”  Eckhart Tolle

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Individuals lacking humility deserve little attention

“The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” 
― Criss Jami

Lately I find myself reacquainted with the notion that our society is comprised of individuals lacking humility.

But what is humility really?

British writer C.S. Lewis once said, “Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself – but thinking of yourself less.”

A powerful statement, which when I look around society today is rarely practiced with any consistency or sincerity. Here’s but one example.

The other day my wife and I were outside doing some yard work, when a man approach whom we hadn’t seen before. Turns out this gentleman lived a few blocks down the road and was out taking a leisurely stroll during the cooler weather.

Welcoming the break, we engaged in a conversation with this new neighbor, which at first was very light-hearted and even enjoyable.

But it didn’t take long to realize we were in the presence of someone who definitely lacked humility.

Even when he asked a question of us, he quickly monopolized the conversation – pontificating about his life in comparison to ours and everyone else’s. He dropped names (unfamiliar to us) and was incredibly self-promoting, as though he were doing an in-depth interview with People magazine.

I’m fond of good conversation, but unwilling to propagate one’s internal insecurities, which is where this lack of humility often stems from.

Donna Lynn Hope once wrote, “If you have to boast about what you do for a living to attract attention, attraction or approval, then you’re seeking the wrong kind of people for it has nothing to do with who you are and everything to do with what you do. Is that the kind of people you want? The ones who are more attracted to your status than you?” 

I’m not easily impressed by one’s material possessions, status or accomplishments in life. What does impress me is the selfless acts of kindness you choose to do with your life – actions which are seen without the need to boast about them.

Here’s hoping this neighbor forgets where we live.

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