I got a quick and eye-opening lesson in humility this morning.
In less than 20 words, one person was able to make me feel like the biggest and most cruel piece of shit in existence. The message, according to the writer, was not directed at me personally but the wording appeared otherwise. *This person did apologize, in her own way, and I accepted it because I would like to believe the intention was not to hurt me the way she did.
Surprisingly and before I think I had even read it, the most unsuspecting defenders showed up to support and comfort me. The very same person who I have been, admittedly, trashing and mocking on an, almost, daily basis, offered words of compassion and understanding without blinking an eye.
This simple gesture…putting differences of opinion, in a heated debate, aside and showing compassion for your opposition broke through the “cockiness” I had been carrying around. I had been so focused on my belief that I was right and they were wrong that I ignored one of my biggest rules; be civil to one another. When the hurtful words were, seemingly, hurled in my direction, I woke up quick.
We can all disagree without being disagreeable, is how the saying goes, I think. That’s just a tricky way of saying, “hey, just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you have to say stupid, hurtful things to make your points”.
I think we all need to reevaluate the way we are approaching our opponents on an issue and make sure we enter a conversation with respect for their opinions, even if we don’t agree. Once the words of anger and hurt are let loose, no amount of deleting or apologizing can erase them. Forgiveness doesn’t erase a person’s memory.
I promise to try to practice, more faithfully and consistently, my rule of civility toward one another. I didn’t like having personal insults thrown in my direction and I will do my damnedest to avoid doing it to others.
Thanks to my defenders and supporters this morning. I really believe your words of kindness prevented a complete meltdown of my mental/emotional state today. I was close. Thank you so much!
Remember what we teach our kids… If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Easier said than done, I know, so how about this: Remember that the person on the other end of the debate is just like you. They may not have the same opinions or experiences but that doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced things in their life that made them who they are today. We are all human and unique. If we agreed on everything…well, I don’t even want to live in a world like that.
Have a great day everyone! I’m going to make every attempt to do so, myself. My youngest and the most beautiful little girl on the planet is turning 11 years old tomorrow (going on 25! haha)