Many of us have heard and, in fact practice, “Be the change you want to see.” Treat others as you want to be treated.” This morning I was thinking about children (and many adults) who indeed try to live in the practice of being kind and loving but can be confused when they are treated unkindly.
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So, what do we do? I am not sure what happens in the mind of a child but I know as an adult, my first thought has often been – revenge! Other times it has been to give up with the thought, “this is B.S. and doesn’t work. It is really hard, I think, to give up being kind when we keep getting knocked down and we just want to get even.
I have not felt that way in many, many years and this morning I was wondering what changed. Certainly people have not quit treating me (and others) unfairly, or lying, or behaving in ways I try to avoid. So, what changed? Simply, me and my attitude.
We humans are so quick to recognize the “wrong doings” of others, but slow to see our own failings an we we do, it is more like, “well, I am not ˆthat bad! And, “It is not fair!”
I no longer think about getting even or giving up being kind. I do not even get upset when driving. Why? How?
When someone offends me or hurts my feelings, it is most often something I have done to someone in the past (or am capable of doing in the future) and I am able to recognize – “Oh, that is how I have made others feel.” When I am driving and someone does something “stupid,” I can acknowledge having done the same or similar. It is an eye-opener for me and kind of levels the playing ground.
If it is not something I have done, I most often recognize it as something I am capable of doing – or at the very least – thinking.
I am working on language to teach my Sunday school kids about why and how we need to stay focused on our side of the street, no matter what. Over all and down the road, we do “win.” We do get what we give. We just can’t always see it at first.
However, I do not practice random acts of kindness in order to get – I do it because it makes me feel good! Plus, I like the feeling of calm that comes from not getting angry while driving on the highway or the road of life. Peace, Calm, and Joy are totally up to me. And trust me, it is not about being a “doormat.”
Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about how this works. It is NOT a fairy tale. We really DO get what we give over the long haul. If we plant tomatoes, we reap tomatoes. Period.