What People Will Always Remember

Days ago, the world lost Maya Angelou. And upon her death, I remembered the only quote that ever stuck with me:

people will forget what you said and what you did, but people will always remember how you make them feel

Days ago, I was experimenting with means of communication, specifically, seeing how effective being direct with others would be. In my mind, I thought being direct would be most efficient, “do this. “ok, but which this or that?” “do that, then.” Done and done.

Oh, how wrong I was…

What I thought was being efficient and direct was being received as mean, disrespectful, hostile, and overall speaking with an attitude.

In essence, my being direct made things worse, communicatively

People have a wide range of assumptions and expectations, feelings and tolerances, and there is a huge gap for things to get vastly mistranslated.

People indeed need things to be clear, but not direction or even words, what people need most is to have clear feelings and intentions coming from one another. A smile, a kind gesture, even a slight touch, with gentleness and a loving heart, can penetrate any sort of mean demeanor one can possess. 

Heh, looking back, it was kinda silly of me to think that being direct and otherwise emotionless, would result in anything but utter disaster. 

No, people will always remember the way they feel whenever they’re around you, whether it’s feeling like you’re needed, loved, disrespected, or even hated. Which is probably why once a bond of trust with someone is broken, it’s hard to regain it, because they’ll always remember that feeling of betrayal.

So in order to truly conquer the hearts of others, it’s not by force or fear, but with love. If we can learn to be compassionate towards others, we can help them, guide them, and even teach them to help others. 

Heh, it’s like the Sun and North Wind all over again. It’s funny how much power lies in a smile towards someone. If you do it long enough, they won’t remember the act of you smiling at them, but the feeling that you are smiling with them.

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Frustrations

A difference of opinion, a deaf ear, sincere ignorance. It all leads to the same result: Frustration.

‘Lucky’ for me, I have often 2 doses of frustrating people, one within my home and one outside of it. Both are bonded to me by blood, yet both are equally frustrating for their own reasons… Both equally blind.

So in my frustrations, my only consolation is the idea that somewhere along the line, I’m eventually going to run into someone who will, no doubt, remind me of one of them.

Fortunately, when that happens, it won’t require something as grand as obtaining the authority over Medicine, and knowledge of Life and Death, because by then, I would have already have it.

Yet, despite all of this, the potential that lies within, their flaws, and their continuing of empty promises of changing for the better, I’m still ignored, looked down upon, and any advice I’ve given, based on years of observations and data (also known as “My Childhood”), is disregarded.

So what am I to do?

How can I communicate with someone who, quite simply, will not listen?

When faced with a patient who will not hinder my words, what’s a Doctor to do?

Ha ha ha, I don’t know, the patient pays for my advice, so whether or not he takes it is upon him…

Sigh… But that’s not what good doctors do…

Good doctors take an interest, a genuine concern for their patients, they go above and beyond the line of duty for those under his/her care, and sometimes, they don’t take ‘No’ for an answer.

No matter how frustrating, disappointing, unfulfilling, they do what they know is right, because it’s the oath that they’ve taken, that binds them to do the right thing to any and all who seek their help.

Well, in my case, this is easy to do for strangers, even frequent customers, but for siblings who refuse to listen to me? Not so easy. Being the youngest, I bear no older authority; despite my education, I’m only responded with, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”; and despite numerous occasions where I’ve proven my worth, I’m met with someone who’s chosen not to register said occasions in their views of me.

Apathy doesn’t work, because they’re permanent parts of my family, so I can’t just ignore them when they’re here, despite they having the ability to ignore me. I will not resort to Force, because that’ll only cause more problems, and with all of the pent-up frustrations within me, I’m going to instinctively use information of vitals and do something permanent. For years, I’ve simply chalked it off as ‘Nothing’ because I was too young to register it, as my mind was full of sugar and shiny things. I can’t go back to that state of mind, because I’ve matured now. So now, what I do is simply catch myself, not allowing my pride to get caught up in conversations with them, and give short, neutral answers, “Yep.” “OK.” “We’ll see.”

One of them constantly says, “Be careful or you’ll be like me.” and all I can do here is just laugh. There’s no way, no combination or series of events that can lead me to become like him, or like any of my siblings, for that matter. There’s no way, nothing in their lives match my own, other than blood, concern for the well-being of my Mother, and particular family members, but their morals and values are far different than my own, smaller, to speak the truth. They only care about their lives, their possessions, themselves.

I guess, there’s really nothing I can do. Their view of me is based on their opinions and observations and whatever else they’ve decided to base my character on. I can’t change that, I can’t change how they choose to see me, nor should I. It’s simply not up to me, all I can do is just do what I know is the right thing to do. So if they need a ride or help, what else can I say but, “Yes” ? If they want to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, what else can I say but, “Sure.” ? And in the future, when they come to ask me for advice, only to throw away my time and effort, what else can I say but, “Ok.” ?

Sigh… I know it isn’t the best option, but in my current situation, it’s my only one. I can’t leave, just yet, and I can’t explain to them what their problems are, nor give them solutions to said problems, it’s just going to fall on deaf ears, so what can I do? Nothing, sometimes the best move is to be still. Let them talk, let them think their thoughts, let them see me how they want to, all I can do is just show them who I am, if they’re surprized, shocked, amazed, or disgusted about it, then who am I to care! They can’t do anything about it. and I can’t do anything about what they think, so…. Meh.

It’ll be frustrating, because they’re setting their limitations upon me, but meh, my own limitations far exceed whatever limitations they put on me, so what am I losing?

I will not be restricted to the limitations of others.

Don’t Tell, Don’t Ask

I was talking to my brother on the phone, during a stressful time when tempers were flared and feeling were hurt. At his request, I passed the phone to my Father, thinking he’d just vent to him, for a few minutes and that’ll be done.

The conversation between him and my Father lasted 2 hours.

Throughout the argument, I kept hearing my Father say, “Well, if you don’t tell me, how am I supposed to know?!”

My Father was never one to pry into other people’s business, it causes too much unneeded trouble for him, made life complicated with secrets and that’s not how he wanted to live. However, if it was never brought to his attention, then he’d automatically assume that everything was fine, at least to a controllable point.

But that isn’t true. We didn’t voice our opinions not because we didn’t want their intervention, we don’t say anything to see if they will care enough to intervene. The problem here, is that my Father didn’t know how, his approaches were always awkward and far too short for his own good to get an in depth look at us, so when the tension was overwhelming, and people were yelling, my guess is that my Father had to meet such sudden, but not unanticipated, feelings that probably would’ve been prevented, if not lessened or prepared for, had he taken some sort of prying approach towards us.

He tried however, I remember when I was in the 10th grade, we were driving to Chicago from California,  it was at night, and we were sitting quietly, it was just him and myself alone in the car for everyone was waiting for us there at Chicago. He randomly asked me, “So… Are you going to get married?” Mind you, I didn’t have a girlfriend, nor had any such indicator that there was a special girl in my then-short life, “Whaaa?!” I “gracefully” responded, “What are you talking about? Married?!” “Well, I was just curious, are you going to get married?” He rebutted. “Well… I guess so… I don’t know! Why are you asking me this?! I don’t even have a girlfriend!” I tell him. “Ahhh, I don’t know, I was just curious!” He says, and the conversation just fell short at that.

Heh, I think my reaction was a mixture of teenager embarrassment and surprise at the randomness of the question.

We didn’t discuss the topic ever again.

Heh, I suppose I’d chalk this fault of his to his “lack of a Father-figure” pile, because the entire conversation was purely awkward, even now, I still can’t tell if he was really trying to find out about my life or was merely playing around. I’d go with the former, because it felt like it was awkward for both of us, heh, which means that he has little-to-no experience discussing such things.

I guess it must’ve frustrated him, not being able to communicate completely with us, heh, feelings are complex, and I suppose that he never really had much opportunity to really delve into them, much less into our own.

But it wasn’t completely hopeless.

My Father spoke on a less communicable level, when I started being his ‘Little Assistant’, I felt a bond with him, that I almost couldn’t understand. But I could’ve barely felt his emotions, I sensed when he was frustrated, when he was genuinely happy, and I was able to tell that he can sense my emotions, when I was passionate, when I was at my wits end, and heh, when I was stubborn like him, trying to get a job done.

I am glad I was able to realize his lack of communication skills early and that’s when I told him as much as I could, granted, he didn’t understand much, but he realized what he could and tried to help at every opportunity. It also helped me realize that some people communicate without words, through gestures, small movements, subtle changes in their tone of voice, even through hitting others in the back of the head. I also learned the value of communication as a whole, to overcome that awkwardness that constantly thwarted my Father, and really learn what’s going on in people’s lives and offer my help.

I’m definitely going to need this skill when I’m a doctor, because I’m going to run into a lot of people, of various backgrounds and levels of communication.