How often do we violate the exact expectations that we hold for others? I assume more often than we’d like to admit.
It’s very easy for me to feel the pain of these violations when I feel like I’m on the receiving end. Yet, when I’m the perpetrator, I don’t pay nearly enough attention.
This past weekend my son pointed out to me that I corrected him twice in a span of 12 hours. The corrections typically emphasize what I deem as bad, flawed, or incorrect. And, let me tell you, I hate when others do this to me. It’s an act of loving-kindness to give someone constructive feedback, but dictating what someone should or shouldn’t do can quickly bleed into ineffective, bully territory. So, I made an amends to him and promised that I would make an effort not to correct him unless he specifically asks me too, and to thoughtfully provide constructive feedback.
I’m grateful for this interaction with my son and for the pain it truly caused me. Because nobody wants to be a hypocrite, especially to those they love. It forced me to slow down and take the time to reflect on my actions. And how they align with or violate the principles I’d like to live by. Would I have stopped and checked myself had my son not forced me to? I hope to always be especially kind and sensitive to the way my words and actions impact others, but the speed of life (and our impulses) don’t always encourage that.
One of the tenants of my religion and a motto I hold near and dear is to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Such a simple principle that so often falls through the cracks.
This week, let’s commit to being patient and hyper thoughtful. To pausing before each action and word to think, “Is that how I would want to be spoken to? Is that how I would like to be treated? Am I accomplishing what I want to here?. We can never fully anticipate the ripple effect of our every interaction. But I think we can all agree we want them to spark further good in an often volatile and unpredictable world.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love