Freedom vs Consideration

eeyore quote on considerationThose of you that know me well understand how much I value freedom.  The ability to embrace who you are without the constraints of other people’s opinions of who or what you should do or be.  I think the beauty of the human experience is in our differences and the more we know and cherish who we are the more we can be open to, understand, and really love others for who they are.

Having said that ….

This most recent trip has drawn my attention to the fact that there are places where consideration is in order.

  • Excessive perfume on an airplane.
  • Excessive grunting in the public gym.
  • Excessive talking when the other person has already checked out.

I only witnessed the last one as a third party …and I don’t really have the expertise to weigh in on the issues of an elderly married couple….so I’ll focus on the plane and the gym.

Perfume is lovely.  It may be an extension of the sweetness of you.  I’m sure your significant other loves smelling it on their shirt after you leave.  Wear it around those loved ones.  Wear it when going out on the town with your girlfriends.  Wear it as you stroll outdoors.  But please understand that an airplane has no fresh air ventilation and the person sitting next to you (or several rows in either direction if you pumped not 1 or 2 but 4 sprays of the stuff that morning) may become woozy and end up with a headache.

Grunting.  Hmmmmm.  This one is interesting because I’m a fan of going the extra mile, pushing yourself, finding your boundaries….and sometimes that may require a bit of grunting.  However there is a line.  If you are grunting at every rep you need to lower your weights and work up to the grunt worthy weight.  If you notice people rolling their eyes and leaving the gym you might want to ask yourself if perhaps your grunts are excessive.  I had an inkling that the gentleman I’m speaking of was seeking attention when the grunts continued as he got on the stationary bike.  My recommendation is to seek attention in more positive ways.  How about volunteering at a soup kitchen?

Simply remember there’s a time and a place for everything. If you choose to run around naked when you live in a rural area with acres of property by all means do so.  If you choose to run naked in a 4 star hotel I’m guessing there will be repercussions.

We live in a connected, people focused world, where relationships are bonds we crave and appreciate.  So the ability we have to take a step back and ask if our actions are appropriate and considerate of those around us is wise.

Action Step:  Be observant.  Pick up on the cues of the people around you.  And ask if you feel that your actions may be offensive.  Simply asking will go a long way to increasing your consideration factor.

Comments or questions?  I’m here!  Reach me at

About FindYourFire

Writer, speaker, and life coach Heather O'Neill is president of Progressive Image and creator of the Fire in Five program...helping people reconnect and find the joy in their lives.
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