I’ve been told that I am a person with a very well defined sense of right and wrong – practically black and white – and I suppose that there is a lot of truth in that. As long as I’m being honest with myself, which is where my honesty tends to falter sometimes, it’s not always a good trait.
While I am generally a patient, laid back person who, most of the time, tries to see the “other side”, this trait can sometimes make me a bit “judgy” of others which is not attractive. It’s not something that I like about myself so I’m working on that, I promise!
“How could he do that?!” or “I would never do that!” pop into my head more than I like to admit. How can I possibly understand someone else’s actions (or lack thereof) or know what I would do if I’m not in that person’s shoes?
I recently told my SIL that I “would have been honest” about the situation she found herself in rather than evasive or less than truthful. I like to think that I would have been. Later, though, I thought about that conversation and wondered. It’s easy to say what I would have done but, quite frankly, I had never been in this situation she found herself in so who was I to say what I would do. The old saying, easier said than done, probably fit very well in this instance.
What I really need to work on is seeing the grey zone a bit more. Sometimes things just aren’t black or white and what I think I would do may not turn out exactly as I thought if I was actually dropped into the situation being discussed.
Being a parent certainly teaches that lesson in a big way. We’ve all been there; before we have kids, we have a long list of what we would and wouldn’t do as parents – the foods that we would NEVER give our kids, the video games that they would NEVER play, the television limits, acceptable behaviors, acceptable grades, the list goes on……… We believed that there is a RIGHT way and a WRONG way and we would do it the RIGHT way. Then the little rugrats actually enter our lives and teach us a big lesson. They teach us the meaning of compromise. They teach us – as we bribe them with candy - that just maybe some of those rules we had set out for ourselves were the wishful thinking of somebody who had never actually been a parent before. Aside from the extremes of obviously good (like feeding them) or obviously bad (like abuse), there is no right way of parenting; there is only the way that works for your family.
Kids…… they wreck our bodies, drain our bank accounts and teach us important life lessons. Versatile creatures!
I’m a work in progress, as most of us are, and will hopefully continue to improve with age.