I have got a real one this time. I’m not even clowning around, wearing wrestling gear and mocking the sacred New Year’s Resolution tradition. I don’t know where some people get off.
We spent some road time with our kids over the holidays. I’m sort of liking that these days. I like it for the same reason I like taking my kids to school every day, even though we only live blocks away. Trapping my kids in the car with me gives me an opportunity to hear what they have to say. They’re interesting people.
Eddie said something on one of our trips over vacation that has me thinking. He told us he was not interested in and does not like conversations based on making fun of people, or discussing other people’s shortcomings. I thought to myself, Whew! I’m sure glad that’s something just teenagers do.
What I actually said was, “I know what my real New Year’s resolution is now. Thanks Eddie.”
I throw a lot of words out into the universe on any given day. Statistically speaking I don’t give myself good odds for no regrets. Most days I’ve got words that I would like to take back. Too late.
I heard a funny Christian author say one time that he was always surprised by how Christians pounced on one another’s mistakes, making harsh comments and criticizing, as if we are all properly sanctified, rather than being in the process of sanctification. What the? That’s complicated. Sorry, it’s written in Christianese. Probably should have written it in Chinese so more people would know what I mean. Why do Christians talk like that, anyway?
Here is a universal translation: We are all a mixed bag of good and bad. We are all making mistakes. The mistakes we are making today are things that we will learn from tomorrow. God knows that. If you remember the song, “He’s Still Working on Me” from Sunday School, you get the picture.
Viewing folks with this type of lens, makes me less inclined to make myself judge and jury. I would love to think that people are viewing me through that type of lens as well. I’m going to work on this resolution all year. Sometimes I’m going to fail; sometimes I’m going to write open letters to Matside Mom.
But, ALL the rest of the time I’m going to make an effort to choose words that build people up. I’m going to focus on the good I see in people. I will take the time to tell them what I see and why I appreciate it.
When I see things that I don’t appreciate, I’m going to say, “meh. I’ve got too many troubles of my own to take up brain space with theirs.” I’ve been practicing this and I think I’m getting better at it.
I asked Eddie, “If people can’t make fun of each other, and point out each other’s mistakes, what are they supposed to talk about? I bet you never thought of that!”
No. I didn’t really ask him that, because I know what he would say. “Then just stop talking.”