You know how once in a while, you read something, or someone says something, and it just sticks with you? I had one of those moments recently, and it made me think about a few other things that have stuck with me. I thought I’d share them.
My dad, not too long before he passed away, told me that “Hate is a waste of emotions.”
It’s only been in the years since that I keep coming back to this quote. He is right. We get so caught up in hate and the way it makes us feel. But how does our hate of someone or something affect them? It doesn’t. It only affects us.
Maya Angelou said, “Its one of the greatest gives you can give yourself. To forgive. Forgive everybody.”
Forgiveness isn’t something you for the other person, you do it for yourself. It goes hand in hand with my dad’s pearler above. Inner peace is much more achievable when you are not wasting time being angry and can be the bigger person in moving on, letting go, and truly forgiving.
In college I had to read Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The main habit that really struck me was “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Many people may not even know what he meant by this. If you read it slowly, it sinks in. So many people are so quick and charged with making others see THEIR point of view, they forget to take time to understand where the other person is coming from. Instead of thinking about our response while the other person talks, we should be listening to what they are saying. Then taking our time to think about our response.
“Life offers infinite possible roads. Sometimes your head chooses the route, sometimes your heart. And sometimes, for better or worse, neither head nor heart can resist the stubborn pull of fate.” This quote came from a book written by Dean Koontz. Still one of the best I’ve ever read I think. It’s not really a pearl of wisdom, but it is a source of truth. We can know what we want, in our heads and in our hearts, sometimes those are different things, and sometimes, we don’t get any of it, because fate, God, the universe, whatever you want to call it, knows better.
But my most recent ah-ha moment was when I was reading an article on leadership in the QANTAS Spirit of Australia in-flight magazine. David Morrison, a former Chief of the Army, was quoted as saying, “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” Wow. Those are such powerful words. Think about how often we complain about things and never do anything about them. Think about how often we see situations we know are bad, but we ignore them. I know mostly we do this out of self-preservation, whether it’s a situation at work, or a personal situation, the consequences sometimes influence our choice to remain silent, or inactive. But this quotes puts the onus directly on us. Whether it’s racism, sexism, abuse, arrogance, entitlement or just plain rudeness. If we remain silent, we are accepting it. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in an ideal world where if we saw injustice, we could speak up about it and stop it. A world where we could hold everyone, including ourselves, to higher standards.
What pearls of wisdom have stuck with you? Do you think we could all manage to raise our standards a bit?