News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • April 28, 2017, 01:42:01 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with  (Read 11180 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Twik

  • Member
  • Posts: 29976
Re: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with
« Reply #165 on: April 20, 2017, 04:00:27 PM »
The reason I don't like that advice is because it's a neutral statement -- showing someone who you are could be good, bad, or anywhere in between.  But it's only ever used to mean something negative! Nobody ever says "Sara donated $1000 to sick kittens? When someone shows you who they are, believe them!" I think it's the "who they are" bit that grates, because it kind of sounds like whatever (negative) observed behaviour is "who the person is."  I think that it can make sense, and if it was phrased slightly differently, would probably not bug me. Kind of like the "trust your instincts" advice -- good points, often taken to extremes where it no longer makes sense and/or used for *every* situation even when it doesn't really apply.

I think that we don't need the advice so much when people do good things. But I've seen a lot of posts on this very site that start out "X did something really horrible. But I know s/he is a good person. Should I get upset?" Well, yes. If X does things which are *truly* awful - not mistakes, not mild crankiness, not simple human flaws - then s/he is a person who does awful things. Not a good person.

For example, my great-aunt tried to swindle my grandfather out of his life's savings. Not by mistake, but by knowing that an old man might not know the value of the stocks he held. There's not much that one can say about that other than "she is a bad and untrustworthy person." Even if she's a blood relation, even if you've palled around since childhood. This is a person who'd cut your throat for her own advantage, and you have no one to blame but yourself if you let her do it, knowing what she did to others. No amount of being nice to kittens makes up for that.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

cabbageweevil

  • Member
  • Posts: 1456
Re: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with
« Reply #166 on: April 21, 2017, 07:22:15 AM »
"Watch your pennies and the dollars will follow"

I tend to like the various parody versions of this one. In British terms of pence (pennies) and pounds: the British original is, "Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves."

Adapted from which: "Take care of your pence; the taxman will take care of your pounds."

Or, Lewis Carroll's "nonsense" take on the expression (IIRC, from Humpty Dumpty, who was full of unconventional advice of all kinds): "Take care of the sounds, and the sense will take care of itself."

ladyknight1

  • Member
  • Posts: 13912
  • Not all those who wander are lost
Re: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with
« Reply #167 on: April 21, 2017, 07:55:04 AM »
The reason I don't like that advice is because it's a neutral statement -- showing someone who you are could be good, bad, or anywhere in between.  But it's only ever used to mean something negative! Nobody ever says "Sara donated $1000 to sick kittens? When someone shows you who they are, believe them!" I think it's the "who they are" bit that grates, because it kind of sounds like whatever (negative) observed behaviour is "who the person is."  I think that it can make sense, and if it was phrased slightly differently, would probably not bug me. Kind of like the "trust your instincts" advice -- good points, often taken to extremes where it no longer makes sense and/or used for *every* situation even when it doesn't really apply.

I think that we don't need the advice so much when people do good things. But I've seen a lot of posts on this very site that start out "X did something really horrible. But I know s/he is a good person. Should I get upset?" Well, yes. If X does things which are *truly* awful - not mistakes, not mild crankiness, not simple human flaws - then s/he is a person who does awful things. Not a good person.

For example, my great-aunt tried to swindle my grandfather out of his life's savings. Not by mistake, but by knowing that an old man might not know the value of the stocks he held. There's not much that one can say about that other than "she is a bad and untrustworthy person." Even if she's a blood relation, even if you've palled around since childhood. This is a person who'd cut your throat for her own advantage, and you have no one to blame but yourself if you let her do it, knowing what she did to others. No amount of being nice to kittens makes up for that.

I agree entirely. I have a former friend who I got along with extremely well, but who committed a personal crime against his spouse and then fled the area to avoid the legal repercussions.

I think this saying tells you that no matter what you think you know about a person, you might not see the whole picture.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

HoneyBee42

  • Member
  • Posts: 1305
Re: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with
« Reply #168 on: April 21, 2017, 06:22:20 PM »
The reason I don't like that advice is because it's a neutral statement -- showing someone who you are could be good, bad, or anywhere in between.  But it's only ever used to mean something negative! Nobody ever says "Sara donated $1000 to sick kittens? When someone shows you who they are, believe them!" I think it's the "who they are" bit that grates, because it kind of sounds like whatever (negative) observed behaviour is "who the person is."  I think that it can make sense, and if it was phrased slightly differently, would probably not bug me. Kind of like the "trust your instincts" advice -- good points, often taken to extremes where it no longer makes sense and/or used for *every* situation even when it doesn't really apply.

I think that we don't need the advice so much when people do good things. But I've seen a lot of posts on this very site that start out "X did something really horrible. But I know s/he is a good person. Should I get upset?" Well, yes. If X does things which are *truly* awful - not mistakes, not mild crankiness, not simple human flaws - then s/he is a person who does awful things. Not a good person.

For example, my great-aunt tried to swindle my grandfather out of his life's savings. Not by mistake, but by knowing that an old man might not know the value of the stocks he held. There's not much that one can say about that other than "she is a bad and untrustworthy person." Even if she's a blood relation, even if you've palled around since childhood. This is a person who'd cut your throat for her own advantage, and you have no one to blame but yourself if you let her do it, knowing what she did to others. No amount of being nice to kittens makes up for that.
The other element that occurs to me is that the phrase is most often used when there's a big disconnect between speech and actions.  And usually not one-offs, but things that are patterns of behavior that someone might have just sort of accepted as a series of one-offs, until someone outside sees it as a pattern.

miranova

  • Member
  • Posts: 3691
Re: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with
« Reply #169 on: April 21, 2017, 07:07:19 PM »
On the topic of "when someone shows you who they are, believe them".  To me, it makes perfect sense.  People are what they do, not what they claim to be, want to be, or say they are.

If someone constantly tells me that they care about me but their actions say otherwise, then I should believe their actions, not their words.

And yes, it is usually used in a negative context, because oftentimes people are in denial about who their partner/parent/child really is.  Because people can be charming with their words, but their actions are what shows us who they really are.

VorFemme

  • Member
  • Posts: 16173
  • It's too darned hot! (song from Kiss Me, Kate)
Re: Commonly heard advice/sayings that you disagree with
« Reply #170 on: April 22, 2017, 02:36:15 PM »
If I recall correctly, serial killer Ted Bundy worked for a while at a suicide prevention call center.  I submit that nobody thinks he was a good person for doing so.

https://bundyphile.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/ted-bundy-rape-crisis-volunteer/
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?