When you think of me, do I make you smile, laugh, cry, sad, happy, excited, confused?? Do I make you feel any of those things? Hopefully not all at the same time. I wonder sometimes when people think of me, what is the feeling associated with that thought?
Even though I cannot control how people think of me, I can however influence the way they feel about me. It is by the way I am, the way I treat them, the things I do for them. The only thing that lasts, is the way I made you feel whether by my actions or my words. How will you remember me when I am gone?
I care about people. I care about their feelings. I try to think before I speak and act. I try to choose the right time to tell you how I feel no matter how harsh or soft. One thing I will not do is walk on egg shells. I will not change who I am, what I believe or how I live; just to please you. Just as I accept you for who you are. I only want the same from you. And as for the decisions I take in my life that does not affect anyone else but me, that is for me to worry about. Let us not confuse the two.
I say this and I am not focusing just on myself. I say this and I want you to relate to me. I want you to ask yourself these questions I just asked myself. It is true; we do not need to live our lives being so concerned about how people think of us. At least some of us do. It does not really matter how anyone thinks of us. People will always have different opinions about you and some may be indifferent. But we live in a world where you are judged every moment by the things you do and don’t do, by the things you say and don’t say. We are constantly under the microscope and we might not even be aware of it. It can happen from the closest people to you. It is human nature to watch and observe each other’s behaviours. In a way, we like to criticize each other and compare who is better and we love to find faults in someone else so we can feel better about ourselves. It is incredible what our minds allow us to do and think and justify. Yes, we do. We justify everything to ourselves. We give ourselves the right for things sometimes and we find excuses at other times and we run away from confrontation at times. And when we cannot handle it, we get all defensive and say: ‘I don’t care how people think of me!’
The point here is not to consume yourself with the way people think of you and whether they approve of your actions or decisions. I am more concerned with the way we treat each other in life. Treat others as you would like to be treated. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” ~ Matthew 7:12 This is a lesson that is taught in all religions. This is what all the wise ones were preaching to us. “Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.” ~ Lau Tzu That is the impact that we have on each other, this is in fact the foundation of our lives.
And so I bring it to your attention today. Let us stop and think about the way we live our lives. The way we treat each other. The impact we have on others’ lives. Ask yourself: ‘Do I make you smile? Do I make you happy? Do I make you laugh? Do I make you want to be a better person? Do I have a positive impact on your life?’
Ask yourself and think about the way you have treated every person in your life. Be honest with yourself. How do you think they really feel? You may not like some of your answers. You may realize that you have done wrong by someone. And so now would be the time to correct the mistakes, to right the wrongs; to say: ‘I am sorry’. There is no weakness in apologizing. It takes a lot of strength and will power to admit to yourself that you were wrong, and to say the sorry. In the end, not only that you will do what is right and change the way people feel and the way they think of you, ultimately; you will change yourself from within. You will conquer your fears, you will heal your wounds, you will gain strength, you will see things clearly and most of all you will grow as a person.
There is no guarantee that when you do things for people, when you make sacrifices and when you become vulnerable to them, that they will appreciate you and the things you do. Remember they are not YOU. Do not expect them to do the same things you do. It is best practice to not have any expectations about anything. That way you do not get disappointed. Do whatever you choose to do from your heart and let it go. Understand that some people are not ready to be at the level where you are. They may not see what you see. As a matter of fact, they may make fun of your deeds and belittle what you are doing. Do not let that affect you or shake your ground. You must be stead fast at all times and believe the way you chose to live your life is the honorable one. Those who do not see now, may see it later. Their time to inspiration has not yet come.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” ~ Mother Theresa
“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” ~ Dennis Prager