Why are we here?

This morning, I walked into a conversation between two coworkers; one was saying how young and in-shape the other was looking lately. I totally agreed. Walking away with the compliment-giving coworker, she told me that she was turning 60 this weekend, which was really hard to believe. I was being sincere, and I told her that I never would have guessed she was 60. She said that comment would get her through the day, and walked away happily. She said "Hey, we should do this all day long and everyone would be happy!"

It wasn't hard. Aren't we here on this earth to make a difference--a positive difference? That is what I signed up for. And I'm farrrrr from perfect, but I try. And when I fail, I dwell on it and regret not saying things or saying things that did hurt people even years later. Words and actions matter and they shape other people.

It is easy to ignore the things we should point out. Easy to see that your partner looks great all cleaned up but continue with whatever else you are doing. Easy to see that the student who is always misbehaving is finally sitting still and not knocking people off their chairs, but do we stop to point it out often enough?

Even worse are the people who not only don't build us up, but take every breath in order to say the things that will make others feel insecure, silly, inept, ugly, in the way, and ultimately hopeless. They are waiting for you to make a mistake that they can enjoy, to cut loose so they can make fun of you, and to cut you down when they see you enjoying yourself.  Where did they learn this? How were they allowed to treat people this way for so many years? Do they make it all the way through life enjoying the pain they cause others or do they ultimately figure it out? I've read that we are supposed to be kindest to these people because they need it the most. Talk about exhausting.

As my children are growing, they are hearing the way others speak. They are picking things up here and there. A mean phrase here, a hurtful tone of voice there. I wish I could surround them in a bubble of hearing only nice things so that they become nice people. It will kill me if my kids are not kind-hearted.

Between work and parenting, I am using every drop of energy to be a good role model of how we treat others. I am shaping people to be good citizens and it is hard. I am on my toes every minute with Larkyn, praising her when she does something positive and TRYING WITH ALL MY MIGHT to be the most boring person ever when she is doing something to get a reaction out of me (a technique recently explained to me by our school counselor). It is sometimes painful for us all to listen to the 25th "news report" of the morning, but we all try our best to show respect to our little friend who is talking about his or her loose tooth for the 3rd time this week. Because the minute you show someone you don't care what they have to say, those feelings creep in. They don't matter.

Every time we open our mouths, we have a choice.  It is hard work. It is worthwhile work.

Just a little random thought on a Friday night. Now, off you go...go change some lives.

1 comment:

Schneider 4.0 said...

Love your post. I've learned two things that I'm working on/trying to remember that have some relevance....
1) when someone compliments me, just say thank you. I often find myself saying a negative back about myself--oh thanks, you should have seen my hair yesterday or yes, my clothes are looser but my stomach is jiggly. Just say thank you! AND
2) This comes from the counselor at our preschool...Kids are like computers. You have to constantly input data every day, even the same data and one day, after a million entries, it will save to their "hard drive." It is worth the hard work and the million entries to have them hang their coat up where it belongs, use manners without prompting, etc.

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