You Get What You Give
So we’re having one of those days when we’re not feeling particularly generous. The day where everyone needs a piece of us and there’s just not enough to go around. Which leaves us feeling depleted, irritated, maybe even a little angry. And so our circle gets smaller. We close ranks, don’t put ourselves out there and react to differences and disappointment with impatience, even disgust. Do you ever find yourself in this place? We’re not proud to be here. Is this what we want the world to see or who we want to be? No way. OUR WORST SELVES If we’re looking to complain, we’ll find something to complain about. If we’re feeling impatient, someone will be moving too slow, saying something we don’t agree with or doing something we’d never dare. Our situation will be worse than it was before or compared to everyone else. You can ride this train all day, every day. It’s the path of least resistance. It’s easy to be a critic who tears down what other people build. It’s easy to be our worst version of ourselves. And there will always be people to encourage this brand of discontent and its common bond. We’ll bring out the worst in each other, in a battle to be understood, to be right, to win. As Amos Lee said, “The world is so much meaner when your heart is hard.” Our question is: do you every really win? And what do you win? PUSH RESET Let’s play this out another way. We’re having a day when we feel overwhelmed and underappreciated. Our temper is short and our tendency is to assume the worst in others. But instead of giving in to our baser instincts, we do something that flies in the face of frustration. Even if it’s hard or inconvenient. We do something kind. We give without thought of receiving. We pay for the stranger’s cup of coffee, we wave in the car that’s been waiting, teach someone, stay with a friend who needs the company, take her kids for the afternoon, sit in the waiting room, bring over dinner, listen. Maybe we genuinely try to understand where someone else is coming from. We invite the kids’ friends in for a snack and ask them about their day. We take an elderly neighbor grocery shopping or do it for her. We shake off the day and take the dog for a walk. Write a thank you note. Share a word of encouragement. There is humanity behind the mistake, in disappointment and around the imperfections we all struggle to escape. There is a chance to change everything by changing ourselves. Share something. Give your time, your attention, your forgiveness. Give the best you’ve got. See what happens.