Does it seem like everyone in your life has an opinion on how you do things? Sometimes (maybe most of the time) without any real insight into the details of your decisions or actions?
Isn’t it actually okay that we make different decisions when placed in similar situations? That’s our prerogative, our right, our freedom. Why does there seem to be such a general lack of acceptance of those decisions, even when they have no impact on others?
When we listen to or watch what others decide to do, do we always listen and look through our own clouded lens? I guess we do. Why is that lens so judgmental? I’m honestly asking. I don’t know the answer, but I’ve been reflecting on this topic for a while now. And how do we clear the lens? Can I just accept that your decision may be different than mine but it doesn’t make yours right and mine wrong? We’re just different, with differing ideas, feelings, motivations and priorities, right?
The differences can be about anything from at what age we buy our kids a cell phone or how you allow your students to walk in the hallway or what consequence your students get for lack of homework completion or how your administrator runs a faculty meeting. Those are not necessarily questions that have one clear cut answer. And what makes one person know better than another what’s best, what works?
I’m going to sincerely work on this in myself this year. Instead of jumping to, “she did what?!”, I’m going to try hard to listen and accept and respect the decisions and actions of others, without judgment. And I’m going to be grateful that I have the freedom, the ability, the power to make my own decisions too. Most of all, I’m going to work on not caring about the judgments of others when they don’t like my decisions or actions. Just to be clear, I’m going to listen carefully to the ideas of others, but not the judgments.
I think this might be one of the best parts of getting older. ( And yes, turning a year older right after the new year seems to make me hyper reflective around now. ) I’m going to try hard to just take people as they are, hold my family and closest friends near and dear, and shut out the white noise of needless negativity in my life.