Aug 24, 2017

Be Humble

Marcus Aurelius (circa 131 BC) made the bold statement that even the best of people are hard to put up with! That is not cynical, but refreshingly honest. It is a comment, I feel, on the fact that others do not always agree with us or support our perception of anything. They have their own ideas and moral compass. If everyone agreed with everything we say or do, they would be easy to love, but to what result? There would be no energy, no evolution in the relationship. Don't you really prefer those who challenge you a bit? Not in a belittling way, but simply taking a stand themselves and stating it?

Which means, of course, that everybody is right all the time, simply because we only listen to our own thoughts, anyway. Even when someone is giving us a good argument against our point, we are mentally reframing our original stance in order to try and convince them of the error in their thinking. There once was a TV show called People are Funny and it really applies to us all.

Maintaining a sense of the humor about adult behavior goes a long way towards peace. Peace first in our own mind, and by extension, in our surroundings. Not that peace at any price is good in a relationship, but there must be a balance between acceptance and challenge. Aurelius might advise us: Say your peace and let it land where it will. Do not be attached to agreement. Listen and be civil. If you can improve anything because of what you hear, accept it. Otherwise, nod and be silent. You are going to do what you want to anyway, why pretend otherwise?

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