Look For The Potential

I have come to a point in my life where peace is more important than most things.

I see the injustices in the world. I am aware of others handling situations differently than I would. I observe the varying stances and positions of others being slightly different to completely opposite of my own.

But I value my peace. I could point out others shortcomings, wrongdoings, or contrary thinking, but I have found that in the effort to be the change I wish to see in the world, it is more important to be the person I hope others might be. I choose to keep myself out of the political and religious debates.

Now, anyone who knows me knows if asked, I will give my opinion but I choose not to debate it. My opinion is my own. It belongs to me and is based on my experiences, my choices, my exposure, and my interactions, just as yours are based on yours. I don't have a responsibility to change your position. You don't have a duty to try to change mine.

Of course it is always more enjoyable to hang out with like-minded people, but it is also possible and even fun to be around people who have opinions different from you. If you open your mind, you may even learn some new things. You may even teach them or help them to see things differently than they used to see them. I, myself, have opened the eyes of people I feel were prejudice to see things in another way.

But lately, especially in the past year, I have witnessed so many disputes, arguments, squabbles, and quarrels between people. It seems like everyone is starting to believe that if you can't make someone think, act and talk like you, then it is time to duke it out, whether on social media or verbally, and if you can't bring the other person around to your way of thinking you just dispose of them.

I, too, have made this decision in the past, but we all change and grow if that is our focus. My friend and co-worker, Earnest, used to always say, "You will never regret taking the high road." How true is that? Have you ever looked back on a discussion and thought, "I wish I had been more angry, more frustrated, or more out of control?

I have lost my temper. I have been the one frustrated enough to yell, argue, cry, or storm away. I still do.

What I have learned is I feel more at peace when I don't. I like that feeling. I like the feeling of peace in my heart, soul and relationships. It pains me deeply when I am part of conflict. I will repeat it is not my job to make you think my way, or respond in the way I would have.

Sometimes we feel it is necessary to point out certain views or to take a stance for, or against something. For example, we purchased a fireplace and it started throwing an error code and quit working shortly after we got it. I read the trouble shooting in the owners manual and we tried all of the techniques. Right in the manual it gave the part and said to call the company to have one sent to you. I called and jumped through all of the hoops at least four times. Each time I was told the part would be sent to me. The fifth time I was not quite as kind. I stood my ground and said, "Look I gave you the case number which should have all of my information attached to it. Now this time please check the notes and take my address and send us the part."

I am not talking about these types of conflict. I am talking about those social media conversations where one person makes a post and you disagree with it and all of the sudden you take on the role of the thought and opinion police. I am referring to the times in the bar or restaurant, or in line at the grocery store when you start trying to change someone else. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Do you wish to have others force their opinions on you to make you change? I certainly do not. Again, I might point out that another individual is being closed minded and try to help them gain more insight and understanding in a kind way, but I know that for the sake of my peace, MY PEACE, I will walk away, leave the conversation, close out of social media before I engage in an argument.

I recall my dad telling us more than once that if you do the same thing you don't like someone else doing, you are no better than they are. In fact, he would tell us, you are worse, because you know better.

Be the change and be the best version of yourself.

I read this quote that really touched my heart by Ellen Goodman. I think we should read it with ourselves and with others in mind.

It says,

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