Put yourself in their shoes. A principle that has been drilled into our heads for as long as we can remember – but somehow we hit a certain point in our life and become forgetful of what we learned.
We are surrounded by selfish people – we are, by nature, selfish. You can deny it until your face turns blue, but it is the truth.
We have an opinion about everything, everyone. We spew our unkind words around like confetti with the first sign of wrongdoing (either perceived or actual). We have no regard for the receiver of our words – we don’t care. We feel better because of what we said, we feel even better when our online friends agree and allow us to air out even more of our frustrations.
But- when we slip up, when we are less than ideal – we want grace and mercy extended to us like a flood by those around us. We hold people to a much higher standard than we would ever want to be held to.
There is something so freeing about taking 5 seconds to view the situation from another vantage point. I know its not our first reaction – its definitely not always mine.
Gretchen Rubin quoted G.K. Chesterton in her book The Happiness Project (highly recommend – btw), “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”
Its easy to complain, whine, hate, be mean, etc.
But being light can be difficult. How-ev-er, being light brings happiness into your life.
They probably didn’t pull out in front of you maliciously – you’ve been in a hurry before, too. The grumpy cashier? Heaven forbid someone other than you have a bad day. Server forgets part of your order? Yes, its their job, but you have no idea what’s going on in their life.
Don’t forget the person in the mugshot in the Facebook post. We tend to forget that they’re now involved in the justice system put in place to hash out the situation. Unpopular opinion? Maybe. But what good is it doing for you to call them everything under the sun that is a synonym for scum?
Recently, I felt the fire of my perceived wrongdoing. Unexpectedly – a photo I posted had been shared beyond the bounds of my social media friends, and lets just say some people were not too enthusiastic about it.
No wrong was done – but strangers used their words to decide who I was, what I stood for, and what should be done with me. Um, yeah. All of that.
And the some of the SAME people advocating for me in the midst were the first ones to comment “trash”, “ugly”, and even “they should be put to death for doing that” on posts about strangers.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” – Proverbs 18:21
Its not just your spoken word – its your typed word, too.
Maybe it takes something hitting close to home for you to understand the weight of the everyday things you do or opinions you have – but I don’t want you to have to find out that way.
All it takes is 5 seconds – think. Is what you are about to say or post helpful? Does it bring life?
We all get frustrated – and this isn’t an excuse for people to do wrong. But you are responsible for your actions and reactions – you’re responsible for you.
Be light. Be a light.