I Live To Please. Would You Live Too Please?
Aim To Please
I live to please others and by that I mean I live to move others, to inspire others, give to others what they need and want and to assist others in achieving their dreams and goals and to living their best life.
In my asking the question, "Would you live to please ?" I am inviting you to join in the game.
Many of us, at least those of us who are not totally narcissistic, live our lives around pleasing ourselves and others . We want what is best for ourselves and for the people in our lives. When we live to please in this manner we expect, in exchange, that others would live to please us. When we smile at someone we expect a smile in exchange. It is a simple, pleasant exchange that brings pleasure to both parties. When we are there for a friend or a loved one we would expect that they would, in turn, be there for us should the need arise. It's fair, it's balanced, it's only just, after all and it is beautifully simple to boot!
Probably most, if not all of us have seen or heard of the sign posted in a washroom or several, "We aim to please, you aim too please". Nobody can deny that it is a simple and legitimate request. However, out of the lavatory and into life what happens when you aim to please and you miss the mark? What happens when the one you are aiming to please has another target in their sites and is aimed at something else entirely? Never mind the seat, the floor or the walls, what about you and your life! You find yourself in an upset, that's what happens. You find yourself with a problem, that's what happens. You find yourself with a mess to clean up, that's what happens. You find yourself in a foul mood and you are not very pleased about it - at all! You feel put upon and that fair exchange that you were expecting did not materialize. Instead you ended up with an unwanted item or condition.
Your Attitude Please
I repeat, you ended up with an unwanted item or condition. Now let's step back and look at what you were aiming at - you were aiming to please - that was your target. Anyone who has even the most basic understanding of archery knows that aim and target are two separate things. Further understand of archery lends itself to the understanding that to miss the mark (target) is referred to as a 'sin'. Further, to set an arrow in flight towards a target the archer must draw back on the bow string in a bold and confident manner. That is where the power comes from, the e-motion - energy in motion. The next thing that is involved is that the arrow has to fly through the air to in order to arrive at it's destination. In order for any flight to take place be it bird, plane or arrow, attitude determines altitude. Therefore, it is the attitude of the archer as he releases the arrow that determines the attitude of the arrow. So, if you put yourself in place of the archer then in your aiming to please, please is not the target - it is your attitude.
There you are bold and confident, aiming to please and you let it fly. It hits the other person and instead of slobbering all over you in undying gratitude they let loose with some curses and start telling you how stupid you are. You get upset because your intentions have been totally misread and you are being treated like you just committed the most grievous sin and you begin to sputter sentences with "I just...." and "I only...." to no avail. How did such a wonderful intention go so horribly wrong?
Live Too Please!
You are a horrible archer that's what went wrong? Nothing to do with the other guy who's now hopping from one foot to the other like Rumplestilskin on steroids. Two things an archer would have done that you failed to do. You did not identify your target and you did not perceive your target. Not meaning to throw you off but I'll take you back to the toilet for a minute if I may. There's mum, rubber gloved bending over the toilet, scrub brush in hand because her small son still needs some target practice. Said small son enters the bathroom and thrusts a rapidly wilting bouquet of pollen dripping dandelions under mum's nose. Mum is not pleased. Son is crestfallen. When you are aiming to please another it is vital that you first find out what the other needs and wants. The needs and wants of the other is your target. Your aiming to please is to fulfill those needs and wants or to assist the other to fulfill their needs and wants. You must perceive the other in order to determine right time, right place, right items.
If you live to please you must live too please. It is not enough to go through the motions of living. To miss the target is to sin!
Trying To Please
Every year my father would take my brother and I to a wonderful shop in the small, interior town where we lived to pick out a teacup and saucer for my mother's birthday. Each time my brother and I would painstakingly view each cup and saucer until we arrived at the one we thought most beautiful. We kept our treasured selection well hidden until the special day arrived where upon we would present our gift to our mother with something akin to reverence. It thrilled us both to see her face as she withdrew the fine bone china offering from its wrappings. After the appropriate oohs and ahs and it's lovely our latest gift would be carefully placed in the china cabinet along with our selections from year's past. I would often gaze into the china cabinet and remember our choosing each one. Not only were the teacups wonderful, they reminded me of rare special time I got to spend with my father.
When I was ten years and five months less a day old, the trip to the treasured china store failed to happen and because it failed to happen the tradition came to a sad end. My father had been away on business and had arrived home late the night before. It was the night before my mother's birthday. As he had been to the "big city" I felt assured that he had brought something amazing home with him that we could give our mother as a gift. The fact that he would bring home a gift in some part made up for missing out on our teacup tradition and I believed that, if we could find such glorious treasures in our little town he must have been able to get something truly remarkable in the city. As soon as I could get a word with him on the 'qt' I excitedly asked him what he had brought home with him from mum's birthday. What I got for a response was an unexpected "Damn it!" This utterance was immediately followed by a rather panic stricken expression settling on his handsome face. "We'll have to go out, get your brother and get into the car." "But, where will we go", I asked, "It's Sunday, all the stores are closed." "We'll find something" he shot back through his teeth, "Go get your brother and get into the car."
When you go absent from who and what is important to you it creates a big disconnection. When you come to you are dispersed and in chaos. The first remedy to apply is to compose yourself.
The Sales Pitch
With a panic stricken look of my own I set off to find my brother and shortly after we had settled in the car my father got in behind the wheel. "Where will we go", I asked again. "The drugstore is open" my father replied. "We'll go to the drugstore." I fell silent. The drugstore had nothing but drugs, stomach drugs, cold drugs, cough drugs, headache drugs but it did not have anything that could possibly do for my mother's birthday and certainly not anything at all close to a beautiful, fine china cup and saucer. (It was in the day when drugstores were drugstores - it was in the day when my brother and I did not wear seat belts and the car we sat in was constructed of real metal and chrome.) After a short silent drive we filed into the drugstore to be greeted with rows and rows of medicinal remedies. My father, having the advantage of being much taller spied something on the top of one of the shelves. With a rather relieved expression on his face he brought his find down to eye level with his two miserable offspring. He opened the box and then opened the case so that we could see what was inside. "What is it?", I asked. "It's a lady's electric shaver." he answered in a tone that implied he had just discovered a chest of golden coins. I asked the only obvious question, "Why does a lady need a shaver?" That is when I learned that women shaved their legs. By this time the pharmacist had joined our little group. He went on about how they were the latest thing and how he'd just got them in and then he and my father got into some discussion about how they were all the rage.
Going absent on someone or something that is important to you is a betrayal. The way out of betrayal is to act with conviction. However, in order to act with conviction you must first identify the correct course of action. Failure to do so puts you right back into chaos.
Arrow Gone Awry
The lady that worked at the drugstore was not there, she did not work on Sundays. Had she been I would have done my utmost to catch her eye in order to confirm that this was the truth of the matter. This being the case there was nothing to be done for it but to grovel around in my own mind trying to grapple with the concept of leg shaving and like being used in the same sentence. I will admit to having some concern for my own destiny where hair and legs were concerned. So preoccupied was I that it never occurred to me to cast my eyes about the store to see if they could land on something I felt more comfortable with. So there I stood looking up at two grown men who seemed very excited about the prospect of women shaving their legs with an electric gadget. Beside me stood a seven year old brother who was looking very relieved that he was destined to grow up a man. I asked to see it again. It was in a beautiful, pearly white case with gold trim and a lovely gold latch. It opened like an oyster to reveal it's contents. Gleaming silver teeth were nestled atop a light shade of green, just a little lighter than the colour of my grandparents 61 Comet. I thought the colour was very pleasing and began to relax a little. My father purchased the find and we took it home where I furtively set about finding some wrapping paper. (My son has described such maneuvers as "skillfully acquiring"). With the gift wrapped my father sat my mother down and with much anticipation we presented her with our latest and possibly greatest gift ever.
My mother carefully unwrapped the gift, drawing out the suspense. She next opened the box and then the beautiful pearly case. Her eyes went first to the contents and then, with tears in them lifted her eyes to my father's face. "We did it!", I thought but I thought too soon. One of those deadly, snaky, slithering silences fell and then my mother got out of the chair and took herself off to her bedroom where she remained for the rest of the day.
My attitude changed in the ensuing years and rather than feeling like I had failed to please I came, in my teens, to a place where I just thought my mum should "get a life"! Too many failures at perceiving what was needed and wanted by others and my aim to please degraded into a mass of missed targets, disappointments and upsets.
Understanding The Target
"She knew", I thought, "somehow she knew that he'd forgotten her birthday and that he hadn't brought this latest and greatest, wonderful find back with him from the city." I felt like I was party to a crime, a cover up. There were many birthday's after that one but I recall not one gift that came after. However, never again did I trust my father to remember birthdays, or Christmas for that matter and I was his gift giving conscience from that time forward. And actually, it is not quite true that I forgot all the gifts. I remember one that friends of mine gave her. It was a sign for the back of my mother's horse trailer. Since taking up riding in the "fox hunt" my mother had also taken up the habit of ascribing the the word super to people, places and things with an alarming regularity including her horse, Jay. Indeed it was so bad that we just called her horse Super Jay and had done with it. On the sign my friends had painted the words, "Super Horse In Transit". The S and H and the I and the T were in very large letters that could be seen from quite a distance.
While I may have forgotten the gifts that followed the electric razor I never forgot that day, that birthday. I was stuck with it, with not understanding. That is I did not understand until one birthday, twenty years later when I was seven months pregnant with my first child. As my mum opened her gift it dawned on me. Four days after that birthday two decades ago my mother had gone into the hospital to give birth to her fourth and last child, my little brother. An electric razor well and truly "missed the mark".
In order to live to please you first have to have the ability to perceive exactly what is needed and wanted and then duplicate that need or want. In order for you to live too please you have to have the ability to correctly evaluate the importance of your life and those you share it with.
Earth, Earht, Eahrt, Ehart, Heart - Take It To Heart
I Live To Please, Would You Live Too Please?
The deadly thing about missing a target, missing a mark and therefore a "sin" is that it sticks to us. We often go unconscious in an area where we have "sinned" because we don't want to look at it, at the effect it has on us or on others. We absent ourselves from the area and when we see it repeated in others we point fingers. It does not matter the magnitude of the sin, whether it is a small one or a big one - our personal integrity is such that it will not allow us to retain our consciousness without first taking responsibility for that which we have done or that which we have failed to do. Often it is our failures to respond, our failure to learn how to respond, our failure to acquire knowledge or apply our knowledge our failure to act that is where we really miss the mark. We miss the mark when we do not perceive but instead act or fail to act from some misguided belief or precept that we hold about a person, place, thing or subject.
As we venture into an age where information and therefore knowledge is readily available to us we can no longer afford to remain ignorant. Should we individually and collectively choose to remain ignorant or to feign ignorance we do so at our own peril, to the peril of those we love and to the peril of the planet on which we live out our lives.
Get out of your head and into your life. Put your heart into it with a sprinkling of playfulness and a great dash of purpose. Be here, take and hold a position, know your target and aim true!
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