Much of our lives is undoing the damage we brought forth from our childhood into the adult version of us. For years we reacted from an uncomfortable emotional space, unconsciously inhabited, but seemingly normal. Angry, sad, desperate children trapped in a much taller and larger body. But is it possible we could picture how an adult would respond instead of opting for a knee jerk pitch from our past? Might the outcome be different? Even if we can’t always do the best thing in every situation, isn’t it worthy of a try? It would seem to be a good enough reason to make that conscious effort of saying to oneself, “What would a grown-up do?” precisely because continuing to repeat old patterns of behavior gets us nowhere.
As we’re growing up, we continually shape and define what’s important to us. For me, this was always an easy task as I continually challenged and questioned the world around me. Consistently prioritizing and seeking fairness may be what gave me a strong drive for justice.
I recently came across something I’d written a long time ago. I may have been in my thirties at the time. Not quite sure what prompted the thoughts initially. Even though written over twenty years ago, the original statements remain the same. These are the relatively few things I think I need to stay a calm individual with others. To stay sane, well, that’s another story for another day.
DO what you say. It speaks volumes of you as a person that I can depend on you.
Smile when I smile at you. It does us both good. When you are having a bad day, know that my smiles mean I care about you, and it’s meant to lift you.
Don’t be a liar – about ANYTHING! I appreciate honesty, above all else. If you are honest, we will always find a way through together.
Recognize that every individual on this planet is a human being, including yourself and deserves respect just for that fact alone, regardless of their race, religion, color, gender, sexual preference, political beliefs, or the country where they originated. Maybe then we could look forward to some of that World Peace that beauty contestants speak of during the interview segment.
If you can help someone when they need it – DO IT! Giving to someone in his or her hour of defeat is the best gift you can give, every time.
Read, learn, listen. Take every opportunity to educate yourself about your world. You are a human being who lives on this planet and in this society. Your understanding of how it works and runs contributes to it running better, for all of us.
Please make choices in your life that benefit you, not hurt you. ALL of us deserve a good experience on this earth. I care about you.
If you make a mistake or have done something wrong that causes hurt – big or small – take ownership of it, feel genuine remorse and say “I’m Sorry” like you’ll never do it again. Forgiveness feels right for both of us.
Looking at these bullet points now, it feels appropriate to expect these things of others for my well-being. But when I look at my relationships, in general, it seems to challenge people to give these most basic elements. I don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to create harmony over distress.
Then I look at it from the flip-side – am I one hundred percent doing these things for other individuals? And I have to say, no honestly. There are a couple of statements on this list that I’ve periodically had a hard time doing. I’ll leave it to you to decide where you think I’ve fallen. I will say that when I stumble, it’s because of this human ego.
All I ask is that people do their best and maybe remember to keep their ego in check. And I’ll match their efforts. At this stage in my life, I’m more determined than ever to be that person I expect others to be. Something I would never have conceived of doing in my youth.