As I’ve grown older, I’ve started to live my life more peacefully. Granted, 38 is not old but it’s old enough to know better. The need for violence, the need to have my views, my ways, my opinions voiced loudly or aggressively and made to be a higher priority than others—this way of thinking has stopped for me. I find that in my life now, I let things progress how they are going to progress. I use patience, think globally, and use perspective before jumping to voice my opinion. If someone’s opinion upset me in the past, my first thought used to be “I want to kick their ass”, and back then I very well may have.
One day, when my daughter was in 1st grade, she was bullied by a group of girls she had considered friends. It made me stop and reconsider my previous thought process. A group of girls had begun to loudly voice their opinion of how my daughter was incorrect in an action she was taking. (There are a lot of details I am leaving out because of its lack of relevance.) My daughter calmly and confidently stated her opinion and after that, she did not engage with the girls who were bullying her. She knew she was correct, and that’s all that mattered to her. The other girl’s opinions were none of my daughter’s concern. The action was eventually broken up by a teacher. This event made me take a step back and think. Why did these girls feel that their opinion ranked higher than my daughters? Why did they feel as though they needed to loudly make their opinion known? Why would they not listen to the opposing viewpoint (my daughter) and consider certain facts?
As I thought about these questions, I reflected on my previous actions and grimaced. I had been in situations where I acted the same way those girls did. I was admittedly ashamed. I decided to take a page out of my daughter’s playbook and change my thought process and actions. Why would I want to hurt or loudly force my opinion upon another person just to prove my opinion is correct? Their point can be just as valid and just as meaningful to them as mine is to me. Just because I don’t agree, it doesn’t make it any less valid to them. Just because I don’t see the same way as someone else, it doesn’t make my way right and their way wrong. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s an important one.
Be happy where you are in your life so much so that others’ thoughts about your life or opinions are just that…others’ thoughts. If you find yourself offended by someone else’s point of view, then maybe you should reflect on that instead of trying to force your point of view on that person. Reflect on why their point of view bothers you so much, and how your opinion forced upon them may or may not change their mind. After all, you are not always right.
By Stephanie R
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