The New Gap Filler

It seems that people in this society are more obsessed with one’s attitudes than one’s actions. This realization came to me following a comment I got from the president of JCI Amman, the voluntary organization under which we run the Gaza Camp English Teaching project. You see, this guy was more upset about a status I had posted in which I said “JCI is more busy with a conference , therefore, we are canceling our trip to Gaza camp ” . This is all that i wrote and he called it unacceptable and unfair, and of course true to our culture he went on to say I have an attitude problem, thus forgetting the fact that our leading project English Teaching at Gaza Camp is facing serious issues due to the lack of volunteers. He even went on to say that I am the reason the project is failing, and people hate my attitude. forgetting, that I had always given a damn about this project from day one and I never left it, and when I ask people to take it seriously it is for the good of the project as I personally am gaining nothing from it.
Now, I really do not care what his opinion is, and since I am accused of having an attitude, let’s really get down to my attitude.
On this occasion, I am not sure how friendly one should be when addressing a serious problem, as people tend to get upset when you make the direct statement “We need volunteers” and you are instantly accused of having an attitude problem. If you tend to get upset because someone cancels on you last minute, the world forgets about the person who canceled and they all talk about your attitude, and if someone disappears on you when they said they would help you out and you so much as comment on this fact people say “You are rude because you spoke about these people”. Incidentally, this is not only my problem alone but the problem of anyone who gives a damn about what they are doing. This week has all been about cancelations, I saw another friend of mine blow up because people had canceled on him for a meeting, and the world all blamed him for his “Bad attitude” forgetting those who canceled on him last minute.
I wonder if there are friendly way to say the words “We have a problem”, “I am upset”, or ” this is not working”, “Or I don’t like this”. Is it really fair for society to blame you for getting upset when in some cases you have every right to be angry, upset, rude, and mean?
I think the issue of needing to be polite all the time is planted in us since childhood, as our parents used to tell us “Be the better person”, “Don’t talk back to the mean kid at school”, “If you talk back, it is no longer their fault but it’s yours”.
From that point on, people just grew up and had taken these words to apply to everything in life. They have become so busy trying to be polite that they even prefer to never talk about the real issue. In my case the real issue is not my status, which I deleted to highlight its insignificance, my attitude, or my opinions of JCI’s work, the issue is a project that is needs volunteers to grow and prosper, and better yet a project we cannot cancel for weeks because we can’t find volunteers. This and only this is my issue regarding the project. Here I don’t include everyone in my blame within the JCI organization. Some people have been great and this year there has been some positive change regarding the project, but we have not reached where we should be.
Similarly at work, if you tell your colleague a given task can’t finish within the deadline he/she specified, you are told about your bad attitude, as people seem to prefer it if you say “Sure I will do it today, and then you just quietly miss your deadline”.
Is “Bad attitude” the equivalent of being honest, or is it a phrase people say to mean “They don’t want to know your opinion or what you think”. You see these two words are thrown at you the minute you disagree with the person in front of you. At the same time another person may be all smiles and nodding while disagreeing inside, and even talking about their objections later and to everyone but the person involved. This person would never be told that they have a bad attitude but you are always told these words for being honest. I guess the words “Bad Attitude”, are the new gap fillers , as they are the easy way out of an explanation , and they are the smart way for the speaker to make everything your fault, and an easy way out of any real issue.
Dear readers, I just have to point out that there are one million words in the English language and that we don’t need to use “Bad Attitude” to describe the status of anyone who disagrees with us. And, if my honesty, verbal diarrhea, and inability to take rubbish as an excuse are all attributes that make me a person with bad attitude then yes I’m the queen of “Bad Attitude”. I will continue to tell things as they are, and the world will just have to deal with it.


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