Forgive the Guy You Don’t Like
One of the best things about growing up shy is that I became an observer. I watch people and the patterns in our behavior. Yeah, I watch myself too.
Sometimes we do this curious thing. It’s as if we have two dictionaries. One dictionary we use when we talk about people we love and people we think are good. The other we use when we talk about people who scare us, have hurt us, or for some reason we have decided are not good enough.
The first dictionary has the words forgiveness and compassion. The second does not. When we decide we don’t like someone enough, we pick up that second dictionary. We find words like righteous and noble and use them to talk about ourselves and our feelings. Our noble selves decide how other folks think, forgetting entirely that they are people who love their children too.
I think that’s why my mother said, “If you can’t say something nice . . . ”
It seems a small thing, but it’s not. Think of the difference it would make in a life if we lived by that rule.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss