May 9th, 2023, Sunday Early Morning, 5:32am
I was hoping to wake up this morning feeling so much better.
Better than what, is probably the next question?
I’ve had an interesting week. I’ve been working diligently to start a new business, creating an LLC and all, I’ve set up a new website and started budgeting for what will inevitably be an entirely new enterprise – and although I’m excited, there’s a part of me that is just meh.
People disappoint. I get that people think my bar is too high, but whether it’s customer service people or if it’s people I’m talking to about possibly hiring to walk along on this journey, I can’t seem to stop being so utterly disappointed in people.
Years ago, one of my good friends, Richard, told me that my bar was too high. We had this long-winded conversation about my expectations of people and you know, it jolted me something good. I started second-guessing myself and although I fired back at him, it has always stuck in my soul as a tinge of possibility. And that maybe I do expect people to be more than what they can be.
Are my standards too high?
Well, over the years, I’ve analyzed this to death actually. Richard was one of my dearest friends, one of those people who would never say such a thing if he didn’t believe there was some truth to it. He has since passed away and although it was a good continuous conversation, I have always known he was more wrong than right. But every now and again, I have to stop, take note and make sure I’m not expecting people to do more than they can – or at least not have them in my life if they don’t fit. And that’s what I learned from Richard. Let me explain.
Richard’s theory was that in my friendships and acquaintances, I expected people to live up to something that most people could not. This all started because an old “friend” from back in the day had promised to do something for me and then, they never showed up. It was a simple thing, but it hurt me so much – at the very least, in my world, if you’re going to back out of something that you promised to do, you should at least call or let me know BEFORE the date you promised to show up and help. The amount of pain I felt for someone letting me down, was probably over-the-top. But as much as people think I’m so strong and fearless, I am in fact, only human. And if you say you’re going to do something for me, I’m going to believe in you till I have a reason NOT to… and 9 times out of 10, if I asked you to do anything at all, well, I considered you someone who would keep their word.
My argument to Richard was, “It’s not that I have high expectations of people or that my bar is too high. The problem is that most people’s bar is non-existent and that no one holds anyone accountable for failing even the smallest expectations.”
I have quit working for people and companies for far less. In the early 2000’s, I worked at a company that was thriving – I was a Partner and an Executive and the owner disrespected me, and I quit on the spot. He could not believe I would leave because he thought the amount of money I was making would keep me there. He tried to stronghold me to stay – by threatening me no less – and I still quit. Not. One. Regret. Ever. To this day, I hold little respect for that owner and will always think of him as a coward and a waste of human potential.
I don’t care how much money you have. I don’t care what car you drive. I don’t care who you think you are in the world. How you treat another person that you deem somehow “less” than you, is all I need to know about who you are, period.
The old cliché goes, if you’re out on a date, watch how the person you’re with treats the waiter – but I say, watch how people treat anyone they deem less than them. It’s truly a trick statement. The minute you deem someone LESS THAN YOU, you’re cooked in my book.
My “standards” are rather simple:
Integrity matters to me.
Authenticity matters to me. People like to SAY they have integrity and authenticity, but most people in my experience, do NOT. Here’s a GREAT example:
If you can’t support your beliefs, but you’re spewing them all around the neighborhood or on social media, then I lose interest in who you are in the world. You better be able to defend the harm you’re causing – and if you don’t know you’re causing harm, then that’s the game changer for me. One standard in being a good human being in my world is, do no harm and always help if you can.
I don’t talk about what I don’t know. And I wish others would do the same. You will never hear me discuss the intricacies of cooking because I know nothing about it. I won’t argue with you about car mechanics, or mathematical probabilities of anything because it’s not my thing. I will not fight with anyone about medical breakthroughs, physics, or scientific-isms unless they have something to do with my love of fictional sci-fi shows and movies. I don’t know how to say this any clearer: DON’T TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. And if you don’t know politics, then don’t spew crap you don’t know about. If you don’t know about Marvel movies because you’ve never seen one, then don’t talk about them (I’m talking to you, Mr. Famous directors who dissed an entire genre of movies talking out your ass). If you don’t understand something and you don’t know anything about it – then shut up and learn how to google and investigate thoroughly or if you’re too lazy to do that, then just keep quiet!
There’s this new line I keep hearing from “Trump” supporters that just makes me want to jump out of my skin: “I don’t watch the news”. This seems to be the new mantra and some sort of thing to be proud of now. Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t you watch or read the news? What the fuck is wrong with you? Somewhere along the way, it became a cool thing to be misinformed and stay clueless. I’ll explain it this way – I’m not a cook or a chef. And although I can stay at home and attempt tp make fresh pasta and create what might be deemed a lovely sauce of some sort, it will never compare to either a chef who went to school and/or is an expert in years of cooking. It will also never compare to the people who cook on a regular basis for their families and such. I am NOT a cook, so no matter how hard I try, no matter how many YouTube videos I post, I will never cook as well as a Chef, of any caliber! Just because I call myself a cook and create YouTube videos, doesn’t make me someone you’d want to learn a recipe from since I’ve never made fresh pasta in my life.
People who are NOT watching or reading the news from credible sources are the reason why this country is a fucking mess.
Let me say that again: WHEN YOU DECIDE THAT THE BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR NEWS INFORMATION IS FROM dumbasses on YouTube and TikTok instead of people who are professional journalists, then you have agreed to be misinformed and spew crap that helps divide this country. Yes, I blame YOU.
Am I advocating that you watch a certain channel or news magazine? No. I am asking that you look to professionals who know how to do investigative journalism. Look to people who you know are without question models of integrity that you would bet your life on are correct before you spew anything someone says. I would never endorse a tweet, a YouTube channel or anyone if I didn’t believe in all my heart that they were worthy of my full fledged support. If someone calls themselves a Chef, then they better have years and resources and evidence to back that up. Same with news. That’s integrity. Grow a fucking spine and be a decent and better person on the planet that makes this place a better place. And in case anyone is confused, if you’re still a Trump supporter at this point – you’re doing life wrong. And no, you cannot be in mine. Period.
I loved my friend Richard. But, on this he was wrong. The problem isn’t that my bar is too high, it’s that society’s bar is too damn low.
2 thoughts on “Is Your Bar Too Low?”
Ah this is quite a debate and an interesting paradox… I can see totally what you’re saying and yeah you’re not wrong but equally some peace is found when we reduce our expectations… however having them in the gutter level isn’t the place right ;-P
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Easier said than done — to reduce your expectations. I have never been able to do so. I think it’s a good sign when people don’t meet your expectations, it’s possible that they should not be in your life. I know, it’s pretty hardcore. But my expectations are not high. They are what they are — and if people can’t measure up to them, then it’s possible these are not my people? I feel like human beings don’t take the signals offered and then complain about toxic folk in their lives. Reducing expectations sounds like a great idea, but think about the last time you were disappointed in someone. Was that because you’re expectations were too high or did they just not meet them? It’s an interesting subject for sure Simon!