It takes courage to be yourself...

It's easy to mold yourself into what is expected of you..
sometimes it's the people you care about the most who want to change you.
You see, we all have different things that we place value on...
For me,
honesty, integrity, kindness toward the weak and less fortunate, and treating people with equality and dignity...
that and punctuality are at the top of the list.
In my mind...
the best way to be human is to be someone people don't have to guess at.
You will always know where I stand.
I will tell you what I truly think and feel.
I am me all the way through.
My word is my bond.
And I loathe a bully.
And I treat everyone as an intellectual and spiritual equal.
Which is why I am not big on people being late...
I used to view a propensity for being late as the ultimate in self centered behavior.
In my mind, someone who would make people wait for a half hour because they couldn't be bothered to get there on time says, "I am more important, and I have better places to be..so you don't count."
For me, it was that serious.
Then I met good people who were late consistently.
(In fact, since I hurt my knee..I have been late many times..simply because I am not as fast as I thought I was.)
And I realized that they simply didn't place as high a priority on punctuality as I did.
I think of it as honoring the other person's time.
They thought of time as more of a suggestion.
We all have our opinions on what makes a 'good person'.
Some are  basic...
some are merely our opinions.
Where people head off the rails is when they confuse the two.
And then cudgel people with their opinion by either implying a lack of character on the other person's part...
or being snotty when other people don't meet their standards.
I used to do this.
Then I finally realized that I have my own flaws.
And I was not one to judge.
I am impatient, I can have a foul mouth and a wicked bad temper.
But I also have my good points.
There are many components that make up a person.
I am all out there.
There is nothing hidden.
I have come to a point in life where I have decided I don't have time to placate other people and their need to perceive me in a certain way.
I am not changing and will not change for anyone.
If there is one thing you don't like about someone, but the sum of their parts indicates a good, decent and honorable person..maybe you need to let your need to be right alone.
But maybe that's just me..
I have learned to do that...with my family, with my friends.
None of us are perfect..
It's hard enough just to get up everyday.
To try and do the right things everyday..
For me, Remembering to forgive, and to have mercy is better than being right.
And remembering that we each have our own issues...is even better.
From here on out I intend to move forward.
My true friends and family will be there for me...as I will be there for them.
All others will fall by the wayside.
And that's okay.
Chris out.


Retta said...

Wonderful post. That rare kind that I can honestly say I agree with 100%. Everything.

Right down to punctuality. :-D
I remember once hearing a definition of punctuality that I really liked: being on time was showing respect for the time of others.
(Obviously, there will be exceptions we can't help).

Sometimes it takes a bump in the road to bring out the true colors of those you thought were your friends. I like your approach... acceptance, forgiveness, and knowing the true ones will be there, the others will fall away.

Now I just need to get to the place where I can embrace "and that's okay". :-}

How'd you get so smart, so young?!!

Robin said...

Powerful post, Chris. I think many friendships are lost because someone's need to be right trumps all others. They cannot see beyond it. You have seen beyond your initial belief that "anyone who is late doesn't value my time." That may or may not be true as you now know. They may value your time very much but they may have serious issues which they might not feel comfortable discussing (yet), but hopefully will someday. Not everyone is as *out there* as you are. In fact, many people are not.

For you to put that need to be right in the back seat, and to put other things like forgiveness, understanding, compassion, mercy, and empathy in the front seat is a huge game changer.

I am trying to put my Thursday post together. I hope I can find something for this....

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

It's so fun to see you 'stepping out'. You are on the verge of dangerous now, I do believe. ;)
I feel the real you always comes through in everything you post and I appreciate it. As humans, we can't please everyone, but inevitably we do find some people who find us to be fabulous!

KrysTros said...

It's amazing how the journey of life keeps us ever changing and growing into who we are supposed to be. Thank you for your blog!

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

I have been thinking about this very thing, although you worded it so well. It's that concept of black and white. I used to think everything was black or white, I did good or I did bad. But with all the life experiences I've had, I can't put that pressure on myself anymore! And it's just not fair to look at others that way either! I do belief there is good and evil and there are some basic absolute truths, but ASIDE from that... how we each choose to handle situations according to our values cannot be labeled as black or white.

How one decides to parent might not work for someone else but it doesn't mean it's bad or wrong. We're all so different and have different struggles. I really REALLY wish we could all stop looking at each other through our magnifying glasses and just LOVE and SUPPORT each other and TRUST that we are all doing the best that we can given our circumstances, experiences and beliefs. Who needs more critiquing? I certainly don't. And after going through several incredibly hard times myself... I realize that I have NO RIGHT to judge anyone!

I see so many people who haven't learned that yet and have set expectation and use harsh judgments on others and I cringe thinking what they will go through themselves before they learn to assume the best of others... even when they make choices so different that you would make.

Every person is amazing and beautiful and fabulous if you look for it in them! Every person has something you can learn from them!

Your last few sentences about your true friends will be there for you and vice versa... that's just so true! I hope my friends see me as a true friend, and I hope that I can let others who do judge me harshly fall by the wayside and not dwell on those judgement to bring me down. It's trying to please them and convince them that I'm a good person that makes me NOT be true to my own self, which is what your post seems to be saying. Dang.. I really rambled! Thanks for posting!! I love reading your blog!