Stiff Upper Lip Old Chap

respect

respect (Photo credit: Heliøs)

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our open information society, and I don’t mean our lives laid out for all to see on Facebook or Dating Sites or Instagram, but how nothing seems to be private anymore.  I have stood in line at grocery stores and in a few moments had people tell me their story or worse yet the intimate details of someone else’s life.  Everything from illnesses, to affairs, to arrests, abortions, drugs..well you get the idea.  In five minutes I can walk away from a complete stranger with more information than I could ever want.

When I was a little girl I watched an old English war movie and there was a scene in a war room where three men were talking.  The one fellow excused himself and one of the other men asked what was wrong with him.  The fellow responded with, “It’s a personal matter.”  The fellow just said, “Oh that is unfortunate.”  And they continued on with business.  Even at that young age I remember thinking about how respectful the whole scene was.

You see I think we have lost some degree of respect when it comes to our personal lives, to ourselves.  The more I consider it, the more I believe it is all about respect.  Respect for ourselves and respect for others by not prying.  The thing is that few people seem to understand what is happening.

I have been doing some research for a potential biography and along the way have found myself asking just how much information should be passed on?  (Especially when that person is not alive to answer to information.)  How much information would I want my children or grandchildren to know about my life?

Do we disrespect ourselves when we just blab about everything?  I used to be a little too open about my life and activities thinking honesty equaled total disclosure.  I no longer feel that way.  Not that I have any horrendous hidden secrets but there is a certain level of information, of intimacy that really is none of anyone’s business.

There is a certain dignity to the old Stiff Upper Lip.  It means that yes I have problems and challenges and I shall look after them.  The whole Suck it up Buttercup idea is along the same lines, though a little more expressive.

What is responsible for our fall from dignity?  I believe it is the ‘Media’, especially so called reality shows that are in my opinion horrid.  Talk show hosts also contribute to this nonsense.  Come on the air, wail about your problems, cry about your circumstance, and we shall reward you.  What is the reward you ask?  Well its some degree of fame I guess.  I guess but I don’t really understand.

Back in the fifties or sixties there was a television show called ‘ Queen for a Day’.   I only watched it once because I saw people degrade themselves spilling information to gain the most sympathy.  It turned my stomach at the time.  I had no way of knowing the future held a whole society of ‘poor me’ and listen to my tale of woe.

When people were more dignified it was not a case of not being able to confide in someone, but you didn’t confide in everyone, and those you did go to kept your confidence for to not do so was shameful.

Some people today do carry on their lives without tell-tale drama.  Jodi Foster is one that comes to mind immediately but there are lots of others.   I have friends that ‘carry on with a stiff upper lip’, that ‘suck it up buttercup’ and do so with grace and dignity.  I think we need a little more dignity and self-respect and no I don’t think I want all my secrets known, not because they are horrible but because they are mine.

How do we begin to change society as a whole?  Can we even do that or is it okay to carry on and hope someone else will want to follow example?

A King A Queen and a Mischievious Count

I cohabitate with  3 members of Feline Royalty which suits me very well as I also consider myself as Queen of Hamilton.

3 great whites by Tom Barwell

They each have their charms and challenges although once you get used to challenges therein lies the charm.

Front and center is King Jack.  King of the household – he thinks and perhaps at one time it was true.  To soothe his easily ruffled feathers – uh – fur – I still address him as King. KJ likes to stake his claim on territory or person and has not experienced any challenge to that until recently.

King Jack by Tom Barwell

But before I get into that I must tell you that KJ has been known to stretch himself across a doorway or kitchen floor, fluff himself up and no mortal dare cross his path.  He is pretty swift with the old ankle swipe and since he still has claws I pretty much always wear socks or long pants before crossing his path.  At least he used to.  I am not sure if he is just used to me or the kitty treats I give him on the side are sufficient bribery.

Lying innocently behind KJ appearing rather submissive is Gus, the Count of Mischief.  He is the youngest and when he first joined our troupe KJ took a very protective role with the sweet baby.  Wherever Gus frolicked Jack was not to far behind usually  sitting above somewhere watching.  He followed the baby from room to room.  At least that is the way it was for the first three months or so.

Gus by Tom Barwell on Instagram

You see, Gus is younger and faster and a male like King Jack and pretty soon he was contesting Jack’s kingship.  Jack is not that old but the smaller and mightier Gus is  aging the king quickly.  I first noticed in when it came to bed territory.  When KJ stretched out on a bed, it was his.  But.  But.  One day the old king lay across his throne and the frisky frolicking youth jumped up to challenge him.  HA! thought the King and gave a mighty swat sending the youth spinning into the middle of next week.

But then it happened again and again and one day I said to Gus, “Gus you will never be king so just stop challenging him.”   Gus gave me a look from his blue marble eyes, threw his head back and leaped upon the throne once again.  A few tries of persistence and the King was gone.  Long live the Count.  Poor Jackie.  Now he reigns as King only when Gus allows him so now I whisper words of royal adoration to KJ quietly to let him still feel regal.

On the right side of the first photo in a more subservient pose is Jewels Grace.  Queen Jewels was the first feline to arrive of the group but she always gives way to the male who of course for so long was KJ.

Jewels Grace by Tom Barwell Instagram

Poor Jewelsy (as G2 calls her) has several disadvantages; she is deaf, she is not pretty at all, her fur is all scrunchy here and there and she has eyes that are yellow.  Devilishly yellow which at times appear vampire red.  She has a belly that almost reaches the floor.  She has a plaintive meow and kneads everything with her claws including all furniture and people.  She is not attractive at all.  She is needy always asking to be touched and stroked. And she is my fave of course.  A woman surviving in the midst of a male driven society.  She sleeps a lot and I am trying once again to let her stay in my room at night where she sleeps on my bed. The lady needs 1:1 attention.  I look at her and think, what if that was me?   So project Jewelsy is on!

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