As Congress looks for and finds blame with their insistence that the deficit be balanced on the backs of the middle class,the students,the elderly,and the poor while refusing to look at the role they play by the continuation of the same, there is plenty going on in our lives that is about us. While Corporations refuse to hire here but instead send jobs overseas to increase the wealth of its board members, it is about us. When we are not educated to meet the demands of the ever-changing market place it is about us. When weather causes havoc and turmoil in our lives, it is about us. When we lose loved ones and are left to grieve our lost, it is about us. When others who can afford to do so, refuse to carry healthcare and we get stuck with their healthcare costs with increased premiums because Congress wants to eliminate Obama care, it is about us. With so much in our lives that affects us it is sometimes difficult to understand a lot of other things in our lives is not about us,as well.
Many times things happen around us and unless we understand that “it is not about us”, but rather our response to it, that causes us to get involved and often times it leads to our own pain, we will waste way to much precious time in our lives that will keep us from enjoying life. When a couple divorces to often,if we allow them to drag us into their lives by taking sides, we will end up feeling like we are the loser as well. If it is a special friend and we take sides while the couple separates, it will to often cost us what we feel is a close friend, if the couple decides to reunite. Even if we do not take sides but try to help the couple to understand each other, many times they will regret what they confided in us and feel uncomfortable around us because they told us to much about themselves, and too often we lose both friendships, even when they divorce.
The above situation had nothing to do with us but it is when we get involved in other people’s problems that it can become about us unless we realize it is they who have lost a valuable friend in us, and we cannot call ourselves a friend unless we do try to help, that we realize it is not about us but instead all about them.
I had an incidence in my life that took place when I won at the Casino and the person I was treating said,”God let me win because He knew I would be more generous and share than she would have been if she won.” First of all, I do not believe that God had anything to do with my winning nor does He have anything to do with money. I think people use the idea that God is in control of every facet of our lives to the point that if we even sneeze that God caused us to, instead of the fact that it was an allergy or cold that caused us to sneeze. I choose to believe that God is with those who suffer and give of themselves instead, since He gave us all free will and helps those who helps themselves. If God was responsible for everything in a person’s life then He would have no time left for those who call on Him in time of need. My winning was not necessary for me to live,eat,breath, or find joy in my life,nor did my gambling cause us any hardship.I was thrilled when the machine hit, just as all of us are when we win.
I won because I went to the casino, without the other person even being in the same State much less the same Casino, I took the risk that gambling involves, and I chose the right machine at the same time it was ready to pay off. Any person in the Casino could have put the same dollar amount in as I did and won the same jackpot. Our generous spirit may be a gift from God, as He does reward the generous in spirit ten fold, but my winning at the Casino had nothing to do with God nor the person who said I won instead of her. We to often in our lives look at other people’s success or failure and think that either has anything to do with us.
We may all make mistakes as parents but once our children become adults they also take on the responsibility for their own behavior and if they allow others to mistreat them or they mistreat themselves,we can not help them if they refuse our help. If they become a success,then they deserve the credit over us because, “It is not about us.” We can be concerned about them or proud of them but ultimately as adults they do decide what road they travel, with or without our approval.
As their parents,we only have control over our own response to our adult children’s actions and can only offer support when they ask us for the same. To force our beliefs on them robs them of the ability to form their own ideas or beliefs or to accept the mixing of their belief system with that of their spouses. Our adult children, and especially once they marry, need to make their own decisions even when we do not approve of it and they refuse to listen to what we often think is sound reasoning. “Sink or swim” our adult children’s behavior, is no longer about us beyond our own reactions to it.
The sadder part of life is when our own children, who are not adults, emulate that character flaw in us that thinks everything is all about us, by thinking it is their fault when bullies bully them. Bullies are made at home by over demanding parents in some cases or by neglectful parents in other cases. If a child feels defenseless against the parent who thinks they are disciplining but instead the parent makes the child feel like they are being bullied by the parent or a child cannot find reprieve from their own hurt feelings, many times they will bully others who they feel cannot or will not fight back. When parents tell their children to hit back they help create another bully on the playground. When teachers punish both children because they fear the parent of the bully or have not seen who is being bullied then to often it can lead to tragedy.
If we could as a Society tell our children that the anger that is unleashed by the bully is “not about them”,but instead about the home the child who bullies comes out of, then we could begin sitting down and discussing our differences with the bully. When Schools refuse to play a role in the discussion when the bullying takes place on their property, they fail the child who is being bullied by expelling them from school for the equal amount of time they expel the bully. When negative behavior is enforced by negative responses we teach our children that the adults in their lives cannot be trusted to do the right thing.
I had a case,myself, where I thought it might be possible to have an adult conversation with the parent of the bully, but instead the parent went into name calling and telling me it was not her problem when the child I was speaking about did not haul off and hit her daughter back. It was not about us, but the children that needed to be heard, and it was lost on the mother of the bully. Teachers run into this same attitude of these same parents, when they do show up but many times it is the concerned parents who show up instead.
We parents first, need to understand that there are people who are going to try to control the circumstances in their own lives by controlling those around them and it has nothing to do with us, unless we demand zero tolerance of bullies in our own homes,schools, or environment and do something about it instead of obsessing over it. When we make everything about us, and then do nothing but complain we teach our children the same. When worry or inaction is viewed from the seat of children, they learn to tolerate what we have tolerated for to many generations,as being normal behavior. If schools,businesses, or we do not punish small children who bully,or permanently expel people who play on our fear or lack of action, then we all tolerate the bullies and it does become about us. Our children learn nothing through fists or violence but to be violent in return.
Just as there are kind-hearted people, there are mean-spirited people as well. Both types of people will co-mingle in almost any kind of group. It has been my experience that a majority of men will just consider the source of an insult when issued by a woman, but some will fight it out when it comes from a man. Not many people look at a fist fight as much of anything other than plain stupidity, so why do we tell our children to do the same? If we ourselves cannot treat the person as having their own problems and know they treat everyone else the same way, then how can we tell our own children that, “It is not about us, if we do nothing to protect them when we do have supervision over them?”
I ask everyone this Holiday Season to consider what I am saying. Store policy is not about us but about others who do shop lift or steal. We may pay for their theft but if we feel that the questions being asked are about us, instead of policy, too often tempers will flare and our children are watching our own performance. The same is true when someone is rude enough to cut in line; for us to allow someone else to spoil the experience of the Holiday shopping, when,” it is not about us” because we lose sight of the fact,that angry words will never make it right, but instead is a negative response from us who only adds to the chaos, then we understand what our own response does to inflame the problem. Two wrongs never does make a right. As Bill Clinton said,”it’s about the math.”
We need to spend more time thinking and communicating civilly if we are going to succeed as a Nation,as parents, or as the person we most want to spend time with during the Holiday Season. If we ourselves are filled with anger that is spreading all around us,if we are rude to others, if we have a need to control, if we take a bad day out on others around us, if we are mean-spirited, then it is about us.
If we are none of those things, “Then It Is Not About Us.” When we understand the reality of another person’s bad behavior “is not about us”, we refuse to let their bad dispositions destroy our own joy. If we insist on the opposite, then we are making our feelings dependent on their negative feelings which they are responsible for, and as adults who said or did nothing to harm them, we are not responsible for their lack of respect. Everyone will have a bad day but everyone is not entitled to ruin our day unless we give them permission to do so.
Have a good day everyone and enjoy the responses in yourself that you create ,that ARE about you, and let the other things that you allow to destroy your day go. The majority of harm that is done to us as individuals are many times as a result of our own reactions to life and is often created by our reactions to a disagreeable human being, who has their own issues to deal with, without our taking their negativity to heart. Enjoy the Holidays and celebrate!