Wednesday, September 7, 2011
If there is one thing each of us can do each day to help the world it is to "be where they are". Whoever "they" are - your spouse, kids, the guy on the train, the checker at Trader Joe's, your best friend, your nemesis. We are constantly looking to make people do what we want, understand what we are saying, follow our lead or direction, be faster or slower, more or less accurate, friendly, whatever. It's all about us. What if we made it all about them? What if we went through the day, or even through a very small part of the day, with them in the front of our minds? What if we strive to understand, to listen, to really hear, to validate, to acknowledge, to smile with open eyes and hearts? What if we try to be where they are instead of make them get to where we are? What would it hurt? What would it help? Really how long would it take? I think we might all be surprised at how much slowing down, accepting and waiting might do to improve relationships, and really, your whole day. Try it now - try it tomorrow. When you find yourself becoming frustrated or anxious, or your breathing starts to speed up, or you find you are holding your breath, rolling your eyes, tapping your fingers, or heavily sighing, take a deep breath and change your perspective from how much this is all annoying you to what the other person may be feeling or thinking. Maybe that guy tailgating you has a kid at the hospital he is trying to get to. Maybe the checker is slow because she was up all night with her best friend who is getting divorced. Maybe the child kicking the back of your seat on the airplane just left his best friend in California. Maybe the waiter who got you meal all wrong is preoccupied waiting for test results from his biopsy. Maybe we can all cut each other some slack, and try to imagine that we are all doing the best we possibly can.