Sunday, 20 July 2014

Restraint (powściągliwość, umiar)

The fortnight before the exam, the subsequent easing-off, the trip to Germany, the last weeks before job change – quite many head-on collisions with reality along the way. Haven’t come burnt and bruised out of them, however the recent two months have made me ponder upon true virtues of relationships with other people, when they are worth, when and how to foster them, what to appreciate in people and what kind of relationships to avoid.

One conclusion comes to the fore of my considerations; I have more and more respect for those who keep their distance towards the world and are adequately reserved towards other people. I particularly have a high regard for individuals who:
- keep a low profile,
- keep a cool head,
- are hardly ever thrown off balance, no matter how cards are stacked against them,
- do not raise their voice,
- do not bear a grudge,
- do not take umbrage,
- hold back from overly showing their emotions,
- refrain from profusely speaking about their private lives and sharing their predicaments with everyone around,
- do not wash their dirty linen in public,
- are not moody and hardly ever let other people know something is eating them,
- rarely boast about their achievements,
- do not flaunt nor show off their wealth or earnings,
- dress modestly,
- do not share every step they take on facebook,
- know where boundaries which should not be overstepped are,
- are humble,
- know what they are worth and do not strain to prove it to everyone around,
- do not judge the book by the cover,
- do not feel happy to see misery of someone they dislike,
- can find a common tongue with someone with who they are worlds apart,
- do not take for granted everything they are told,
- are assertive,
- have a moral spine,
- have courage to defend true values,
- do not pretend to be someone else than they really are,
- do not take liberties with other people, unless they are their close friends,
- are to some extent reserved towards other people
and on top of them are sympathetic, amicable, helpful, balanced, open and frank.

I hold dear the set of traits above and have the luck to have gotten to know more than a few people who fit the profile. I am pursuing to adopt all of them.

Back to relationships – I have began to strongly appreciate people who keep their distance when we first meet and at the beginning of the relationship, whatever the character of it is. The tentative approach to another man in a country of mistrust is quite natural, moreover getting too familiar with one another might actually spoil the phase of proper shaping the relationship. As people get to know each other better and if they are on the same wavelength, the distance between them will naturally shorten anyway. The pace at which it happens depends on many factors, but my experience has taught me, the longer it takes, the stronger and more durable the bond between people becomes.

There are several people you have several sorts of social relationships with – relatives, partners (spouses / girlfriends / boyfriends), close friends, acquaintances, workmates. I believe depending on the character of the relationship one should dose up the distance between them and the other person, because it… helps foster relationships. Maybe it sounds silly, but if I discern someone gives me more trust than to other people, our relationship is more likely to strengthen. I suppose many people have the need to be exceptional, be the one, be one of the only few, be the trusted ones and they feel the should pay back the same and so is their friendship reinforced. The precious restraint seems essential to let people recognise the true value of the relationship between them.

Tomorrow (over a week in advance of my last day at work) I’m staging a farewell gathering at work (which simply means I bring cakes, other sweats, beverages and folks show up to wish me good luck). This can serve as a good example. Over my four-year stint I was involved in several tasks reaching well beyond my job description; this also helped me developed a wide network of contacts with, as I counted, over two hundred fellow employees. Firstly, those who I had encountered incidentally, have not been informed about my departure. Secondly, those with who I wanted to share the blend of joy and sadness surrounding the job change, have been invited to the farewell. Thirdly, some of the invited, on account of the distance between us will not show up. Fourthly, the very symbolic moment of saying goodbye will speak volumes about the character of our relationships – with some females there will be kisses and hugs, with other women only hugs, with some men patting on the shoulders, with some workmates handshakes, some will be spared even a handshake. And fifthly, the closest workmates who I can call friends will deserve a more private, symbolic ‘goodbye’ which will mean only we will no longer work together.

Strange posting, isn’t it? Holds water?

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