Up Yours!

Thu. September 1, 2011 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

How many times have we heard it said, "If you don't stand for something; you'll fall for anything!"? It makes sense if you sit and think about it. Many is the time where we look back on mistakes made and think, "If only I had stuck to my original plan …".

You don't hear much about standards these days. I'm sure that Snooki has not voiced her stand on equality for women, or Justin Bieber singing about his stance on bullying. It doesn't seem to be the rage for people to share their standards. We don't want to offend anyone.

Prepare to be offended!

Is it too much to ask that we adopt the standard for caring for others ? Is that too hard of a task? We've spent so much time looking out for number one (Ourselves) that we literally push others away. Someone falls on the bus; we don't give care, because we don't want to get involved or have our precious time taken away from us.

Our personal problems cloud our vision of more important matters. How on Earth can we complain about not enough furniture in our apartment, when some have lost their apartment in the fire or flood? Who are we to feel bad about a break-up, when some have lost loved ones to cancer?

Could it be that we have not been taught the importance of caring for our neighbor? Or did we just forget? I think we can all agree that we as individuals; would like to be known as people who care for others. Politically it is the correct thing to be known for. So why don't we?

Perhaps its time to up that standard in your life! Have relationship woes interfered with you looking out for others? Perhaps it would be a kind gesture to reach out to older adults in your community. What about that kid who sits next to you in class? I bet they could use a real friend. Maybe a co-worker would appreciate you taking them out to lunch or a nice note.

Truth is, when we care for others, we ourselves benefit from the joy it brings. To be clear, the standard of caring for others does not come at the price of ignoring your own issues.

What about having a standard for healthy living ? Be it working out, not smoking, or safe sex; we all have areas in our lives where we can make better choices. One look on public transportation and you'll see folks who live far below the standard of healthy living. I'm not talking poor people vs. rich people. I'm talking smokers puffing at the bus stop, or overweight folks taking up more than one seat.

Now before you write me your letter of hate for picking on the overweight smokers, please understand that there are many other ‘types' of folk who put aside their health for something else. Take me for example, in December of 2008, I woke up in the emergency room with my Best Friend next to me and a team of doctors attempting to perform a tracheal intubation on me. I had a massive asthma attack.

Thankfully, I was rescued in the nick of time, but clearly what I experienced was more of a massive wake-up call than anything else. As nice and sweet as the nurses and doctors were, they were also very stern with me that I had to have a change in my daily behaviors. I needed to take my health more seriously. Working out, medications, supplements, and accountability all have played a part in not having another asthma attack since then.

Raising your standard for healthy living may come at choice, like it did for my Facebook friend, Sam. September 1, 2011 celebrates six years of sobriety for Sam. Can you imagine the effort he gave to raise this standard in his life? As he posted on his Facebook page, " [I'm] reminded how fortunate I am today and thank you to all the people who helped me get here." This is a person who has taken charge of his health and well-being; a standard we could all imitate!

How about raising our standards in our behavior ? I think those who know me would say that I'm both fun and serious. I've always admired the individual that knows when to be either or. I think I've found a way that has helped me when I want to change certain behaviors in my life. I look to those I admire and try to emulate their behaviors.

I swear, I could write a novel on my Bestfriend. One of the many things I admire about him is his commitment to working out. Lets face it, working out can really be a chore, but there are some among us who do it so well. It's the daily determination to exercise. That's one behavior I could really lack in, if I didn't have Isaiah in my life. My friend H. is a wonderful model for a strong work ethic! When I don't feel like putting forth the extra effort at what I may be working on, I tend to think of him. He works so hard and lives the benefits of that exertion. He is a great person to admire.

Who are the folks in your life that you admire or look to for example? Have you told them? Perhaps you can ask them for their help in raising some of your standards. Even still, some who read this can't think of people in their lives that they know who they could emulate. In that case, I want to encourage you to make knowing such people a priority! All you have to do is ask them to coffee or lunch and the friendship begins. Some of the greatest mentors in my life have been so, simply because I asked.

Perhaps it's time to raise the standard in your dating life ! If I had a dime for every person that told me they were tired of dating dummies, users, liars, or cheaters; I'd be a very wealthy man. Seems everyone would like a well-educate, experienced, mate; someone who is kind, honest, and caring. So, why is it that we tend to lower our standards for folks we truly don't see ourselves with? Loneliness? Sexual frustration? Boredom?

What if we were to take a stand in our dating life and really go for quality? Some really like having the title boy/girl friend. Many never experience singleness; going from one relationship to another. What I'm talking about is taking time to make every relationship in your life one of high standing. It's from those quality relationships that we can find potential mates we are able to believe in. Isn't that a standard we can all be proud of?

In a world where so many disappointing and negative things surround us, we can take easy measures to insure that our standard of living is high. As friends we can all make the difference in each other, by holding one another accountable to a higher standard.

So, up yours!