Ever have a day or two, maybe even more, that you would like a do-over for?
(I have had several over the last six months, to be honest.)
The day may have started like any other or it may have started off on the wrong foot to begin with. Things may have begun smoothly enough, with most things falling into place, or the proverbial crap may have been hitting the fan from the get-go. Sometimes there’s no warning as to when a good day can go wrong, and sometimes there’s enough signals flashing and sirens wailing to indicate that things are going to go bad very quickly. In both cases, we often feel powerless.
Sometimes there is nothing we can do about the crap that happens and, sometimes, even with the best intentions, the crap flies in projectile mode regardless of what we say or do.
The point is though, we are all human. We all make mistakes. We all fall short of our own expectations just as much as we fall short of the expectations of others. No one is perfect and we need to remember that we shouldn’t expect anyone else to be either.
That being said, I think it is also fair to say that we can hope that others will treat us with the same dignity and respect that we try to treat them with. I think it is also fair to say that the Golden Rule should be at the forefront of our intentions and behaviours: if we wouldn’t want it said or done about or to us, then we shouldn’t say or do it to others. If we have certain religious beliefs or convictions, it is also important to remember that these beliefs should work as guidelines to monitor our own behaviours and actions as well.
There are times though when we truly believe that we are doing the right thing, even when it may appear or seem to others that we may not be. We may feel that we are standing up for what we believe is right, but others may feel differently. We may do or say things meaning them one way, but they are taken in a different way. You know the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? I’m sure this has been a problem across the ages and if we delved deeply enough into history it may even be proven that many of the world’s historical conflicts arose from misunderstandings and miscommunications.
Many of us do not like conflict or confrontation. Some of us may even go to all extents to avoid it. Confrontation is neither comfortable nor enjoyable for most of us, but sometimes it is necessary. Now the negative types of confrontation, yelling, shouting, verbal accusations, public rants are seldom beneficial, but approaching someone with our concerns often does help. It all boils down to communication. When we communicate how we feel, especially about issues that bother us, we often achieve better results in being able to express ourselves and in clearing up any misunderstandings as well.
I was talking to a close friend the other day about my writing and she asked me a very interesting question about one of my characters. Her question was this: “What are your intentions for [her]?” The question really got me thinking because, while I write without a plan or plot outline, I do have a general idea of where the story is going and I feel like I know my characters very well. I was able to answer her easily with what I thought the character herself wanted to achieve and learn.
More importantly, the question also made me think personally about my own actions and behaviours and what my personal intentions in my own life story are.
Perhaps this is something we all should consider. What are our intentions in our words and deeds towards others? Are those intentions beneficial to us and/or to others?
We are all human and we are impulsive at times. We make mistakes and often have to face the consequences of our own actions. We must realize also though that when our actions and reactions negatively affect the well being of others, it is human kindness that should move us to apologize and to make amends. It is also human kindness that will move us to forgive when we are ready and to move forward.
It’s not always going to be that easy. Issues in our lives will not always be black and white or shine with clarity. There will be many shades of gray and days which we could want to call for a “do-over”. It is in us to realize this and to be understanding of each other’s shortcomings and oversights, as well as our own. I believe that while we are all human, we are all capable of compassion and concern for one another too.