As I welcome spring this year, I am reminded of the fact that I am yes, another year older. With age comes a certain amount of wisdom that only living your life can bring. I am happy to report that I have suffered what I believe to be a sufficient amount this past year. Meaning, that I can now let a lot of things go, that I previously could not. I used to think it was "phony" - Holden Caulfield would be appalled - to be kind to those who I disliked. I now find myself giving others more compassion, and yes, kindness. There are those who I would not choose to spend time with, yet find myself in situations with them time and time again. My boys learn from me, and so I must tread softly when speaking of others with them. Recently, my sons learned of an impending grandparent's visit. As we discussed how we would entertain them, my youngest son, Sam, spoke up. "I don't like them!" to which I replied, "That's fine. But they are your grandparents, and they love you, and we need to be kind and gracious to them since they are flying out here to see us." We had a very interesting discussion where my teenager actually spoke some very wise words. "Sam", he said, "they are nice people, and even though we don't have much in common with them, they deserve to be treated with respect and love. They are only here for two days, and we can adjust our lives for that amount of time to include them." All I could do was nod in agreement. I was blown away by this 16 year old's wisdom. And just like that, I realized, we all have wisdom. No matter what your age, or station in life, you have experiences which guide you to make decisions and judgements.
Everyone deserves respect, and there is a fine line between allowing others to abuse you, and setting respectful boundaries. Refusing to engage with people on the abusive level naturally weeds out those who you do not need in your life. It is not being "mean" to politely decline a dinner invitation, or god forbid, a Facebook friend request. In the end, you are being genuine by graciously letting the other person know that you are not interested in their friendship. If we were all a little less scared of hurting feelings, and a little more confident in our OWN feelings, I truly believe the world would be a better place.
Happy Spring, 2011!!!!! Namaste.