I got annoyed today. I get annoyed quite often really. There is a pattern to the things that annoy me. It’s acts of selfishness or thoughtlessness for which I cannot imagine any mitigation.
- Cars that park on double yellow lines and cause long queues of traffic. As far as I can tell, usually so someone can go in a shop without the inconvenience of walking ten metres from somewhere it is safe and legal to park.
- Finding someone has bunged a bag of rubbish in your bin leaving not enough room for the two full sacks you need to put in (actually what triggered this blog).
- Noisy smelly barbecues that mean you cannot leave your windows open or your washing out on warm Summer evenings (fingers crossed eh?).
If there is a good reason for inconveniencing me, I can live with it.
- An elderly mother recovering from a broken leg needed to call in to buy some wool.
- You were clearing out your cupboards and thought I was away for the week so you could use the space in my bin.
- Sorry. No excuse for barbecues but you should at least warn neighbours!
What I’m building up to here is a plea for thoughtfulness and a bit of consideration, obviously, life would be smoother if we were all a bit nicer, but also, if you are going to do something that is potentially annoying, tell the person you may annoy why you are doing it. Don’t assume it wont bother them. Don’t assume it doesn’t matter.
And if you’re a teacher, explain rules, especially those that seem initially pointless to the students. They won’t all be convinced, but there will be some, who were initially resentful who will have second thoughts and cooperate rather than sullenly comply.
I know there are many teachers who feel no desire to “justify” themselves to students. They believe fact that something is a rule and the teacher is in charge is enough. I have some sympathy with that desire. It would make life so much easier. Maybe my problem is that I identify too much with the kids. I can remember getting cross at pointless annoying rules. But I still think cooperation is preferable to sullen resentment. Just try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.