Sometimes I get up in the morning, sit on my porch and watch the world wake up around me. As I settle into gearing up for the day, seeing the morning mist start to lift, the wildlife begin to engage in their daily routines, the movement of cars across the way and the sound of traffic from the nearby highway, my mind contemplates life.
What motivates people?
What makes some people optimistic and others pessimistic?
What makes a person be mean, destructive and uncooperative?
What makes a person giving, kind and uplifting?
What causes a person to be driven and others to be lazy?
Why can’t we all live together with reached out hands focusing on what’s good for the individual and the whole?
The answer I get is…..
(Taken from Mother Teresa’s poem)
People are unreasonable and self-centered
Forgive them anyway.
We cannot change another person, only our own response to them. Forgiveness does not mean we agree with a certain behavior. It may not always be easy, because we must get out of our heads and into our heart. But, when we are feeling disrespected and having been treated unfairly, forgiveness is the last thing on our mind.
I still struggle with forgiving someone, who probably does not realize how destructive their behavior can be. Often, I will vacillate between feeling forgiving towards this person and downright hate for what they did to me and how I have had to work years to undo the damage.
This can be in any relationship, personal or professional. I have learned that no matter how much we may try to reason with an unreasonable person, it is impossible to be successful. We will end up spending valuable time and energy towards a dead end, that leaves us drained and exhausted.
So, we come full circle back to forgiveness. Seems to be the most beneficial way for us to be at peace.
If you are kind, people will accuse you of ulterior motives
Be kind anyway.
If this seems like a never-ending experience for you, raise your hand!
Kindness is very much misunderstood. If someone has grown up to hate, tear others down, dislike others for whatever reason, to see the world from the victim perspective and always angry or sad, kindness is like a knife through their heart.
They don’t trust you and wait for the signs that you are not genuine. You have to prove yourself, and even then, it can take years or never, for your kindness to be appreciated and valued.
For me, kindness is the foundation for my life to be joyful. I practice daily to be aware of where a person is in their life, always thinking “how may I help?” Perhaps a simple smile can wipe away the anger, or a word of encouragement gives a boost to low self-confidence. If I find they cannot be receptive, I keep them at arm’s length. If they try to re-enter my life, I make sure they are aware of who really am, I am not an enemy and if they cross my boundaries, I will not engage with them.
How can you practice kindness today, even if you want to scream out of frustration of being misunderstood?
If you are honest, people may cheat you
Be honest anyway.
Honesty seems to be one of the hardest things to master in life. I don’t believe there is one person in this world who has not had to deal with someone who has caused us to be dishonest.
Anything other than the truth, no matter how much we try to justify the dishonesty, cannot be seen as being honest. This, in turn, causes people to take advantage of us and/or a situation.
I am always amazed at how surprised others can be when I bring honesty and integrity to the table. It is as if they expect the opposite and when confronted with it, they are not sure how to respond or they try to manipulate things in their favor.
Being honest leaves you feeling good and knowing you have done the best you can do.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous
Be happy anyway.
I’ll never forget the reply to a post I had done on a relationship FB group my husband and I founded and managed. My post was one of uplifting and positivity, yet this person obviously did not like to see others happy. He actually said “you’re making me feel bad because you are so happy.” Happiness only comes from within and no matter how jealous another person is, we must remember to keep our happy strong.
The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow
Do good anyway.
We are meant to be in this world together, but somehow, we have evolved to believe we are separate. The struggle between acceptance and indifference is real. Doing something good sometimes comes with a price, one that is out of our control.
Not everyone is going to appreciate the good you do. Those who can see the value of what has been provided for them, no matter how big or small the contribution, are blessed by your light. Keep on giving and doing good, it will come back to you tenfold.
Give the world the best you have, it may never be enough
Give your best anyway.
I have learned to be in the moment knowing that I have given my best at this time. There’s an undercurrent carrying me towards something better, so I continue to give it all I got. Sometimes I get the feeling it’s not enough, and I work to shift this into being grateful for what I have.
Think about how far we have come bringing ourselves to this technological era. Yet, are we satisfied? I think not. We are constantly striving for a better way to live, but don’t you feel the tone is, it may never be enough?
We must always give our best, for we never know the impact it has on our self or others. I am reminded of this time and time again. When there are days I question if I should write something or teach or coach, someone tells me how I have been a positive influence in their lives. At times I want to be able to reach hundreds, thousands or millions of people through my best efforts, but I know if only one person is touched, then that is enough.
This musing is a reminder that we must continue to be kind, thoughtful, giving, forgiving, compassionate, loving, courageous, strong and gentle.