Do you remember what it was like as a child when everyone seemed to be able to tell you what to do? Parents, teachers, other adults, older siblings and cousins – just about everyone told you what to do with no recourse but to do it; and you’d better do it with a smile, too. Of course we couldn’t wait until we were a little older and could boss others around. Remember that part? We gave unto others what had been given unto us.
The problem is that being responsible involves more than just bossing others around and complaining about their behavior. Complaining and blaming is easy. We do it for entertainment in every sphere of our lives from sports to politics and from celebrities to foreign cultures. Just think about your last six conversations or tweets or status updates. How many of them involved complaints and/or blame? How many of them actually involved taking personal responsibility other than liking or reposting or spreading rumors?
We are given hundreds of examples of complaints and blame every day. We’ve forgotten that old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. So we blame and make demands of others. Yet, when someone blames us falsely or demands that we do something against our will, we are the first to complain bitterly. Suddenly we become the victims of bullies.
Even the people in our lives with the best intentions sometimes make false assumptions. We can all remember times when we’ve been falsely accused or judged. We’ve done the same thing to others, if we are honest about it. Imagine what it would be like if everyone quit making assumptions and actually tried to understand one another.
I don’t know about you, but I highly respect the people who want to hear my side of a story or want to know my motivation for actions I’ve taken or beliefs I’ve held. I don’t respect those who judge me and boss me around. Perhaps it’s time to give unto others what the folks I respect have given unto me.
How do you feel when people make assumptions about you or demand undesirable actions?
Do you ever do the same thing to others?
Are you willing to get to know others better and to understand what motivates them?
What steps will you take, today, toward giving unto others with respect?