Shorts: How to be more forgiving, to children.

It would be fair to say that at some point, we have all been frustrated by a crying child. Perhaps it is a baby, who is uncomfortable because their ears are popping on a busy plane returning home from some holiday destination. Perhaps it is a toddler, who will not be getting an extra toy today, during their visit to the supermarket. Or maybe it is any other plethora of potentials, that is driving someone somewhere wild, and boiling their blood.

It can be irritating, and we may even feel like shouting and letting it all out, you may think the child or the parent is to blame. But simply; if you have found yourself in this situation, of being red faced and ready to erupt, it is you who is at fault. Because you are distinctly choosing not to be so kind and considerate.

Consider this; we have all been heartbroken one time or another. Perhaps a loved one passed away, or someone very dear to us moved on. And at the time, it is horrific. We feel empty. Lost. As though no amount of good remains in the world. As though this stabbing, heart-wrenching pain, is the new pinnacle of our existence. Of all the things that have happened to us at that point, this is the worst. People come and go, they stop for a moment and tell you, “Everything will be okay.” but you ignore them, because in the moment you genuinely do believe that it won’t be okay, or that you can’t bear the pain. At the time, it is the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

Well… What age were you when you remember that? Say you were in your teens or your twenties, perhaps you were the fortunate few who lasted until later in life to experience such heartache. Regardless, you will have already experienced an extensive line of events to make you strong, to build you up into who you are and ensure you can endure more and more that life throws at you.

But to a child; not getting a toy – might be the worst thing that has ever happened to them. To you it’s nothing – you’ve not been given toys before, or maybe you know that your ears will pop on a long journey… but they haven’t experienced that yet. It’s easy for you because you are strong, and you have forgotten that. It’s easy because you have much more difficult memories you have faced, and you have overcome those, so by comparison losing out on a toy doesn’t seem so bad. It seems trivial.

But you must be more kind, because it is the worst thing they can compare anything else to. Imagine you thought you could have the world, and for free – and then one day someone told you “No.”? You would think, “Why? What have I done to deserve this? It isn’t fair.”

In fact, if you ever had a tantrum, even once, you did think this. It’s not because you were bad, or that this random child repeating the feat is bad; it’s because they’re new.

They have not learned. They’re new to the world, the good that she brings, and the bad she delivers.

So rather than losing your temper, and letting trivial inconveniences irk you more than they should – let it go. They are learning, so that they can be better. Be an adult; and do the same.

Serenity Now

Peace cannot be achieved, today and now, without an immense amount of effort. It takes everything to let fundamental disagreements, pain, and past unfairness subside in order to move forward without the anvil of the past weighing you down. It cannot be demanded, because by its very definition there can be no force and all parties must accept the conditions amicably.

Demanding peace is no more useful than demanding yourself to relax in a moment of panic. It’s a paradox. Fundamentally it cannot be rushed. It takes effort. It takes endurance, respect, and consistency.

What differentiates the villains from the heroes in old tales, and even blockbusters that we know of now – is that the villain must only succeed once to achieve their goal. If the villain wishes to cause terror, to take lives, and to exert their will, they need only do it once. Their world ending plan, or their terrorist attack – has to be only be achieved the one time. Terror, is spread easily – peace is a little tougher.

So we must be consistent. Stronger. Unwavering, and unfaltering. It begins not with magnanimous leaders that boast their own narcissism, but with the people who we often forget actually run the world – the people. It can only be achieved on the grand scale that it will, once the small behaviours of the people change. Once people remember to prioritise what they want most, rather than what they want now.

The next time someone skips you in a queue, or walks in front of you – do not storm and pout and get mad about it. Even if it irritates you in the exact moment, work hard to laugh, or joke, and move past it. Do not let the second, dictate the minute. Because very quickly, the minute can dictate the hour, and so on. Big things are only made up of small things, and it is our lack of vigilance on the small things that allows larger things to manifest themselves over time.

Talk about the small things; communicate towards a solution, as they arise. Accept that the solution may not be achieved immediately, but it cannot even begin to be worked upon until stakeholders are even aware that an issue exists. More so; do this with a smile. Do not assume maliciousness, where ignorance will do. If your waiting staff have not cleared away a table you wish to sit at, do not be so arrogant as to assume they are not doing their job, and complain of the terrible service – instead stop for a moment, consider it may be busy, and that by chance in this exact moment you spotted the table you want to sit at, they were dealing with other issues and unfortunately this was not their priority. In fact, if you have worked in the service or retail industry, you know this to be true. Be polite and kind, and with a smile bring it to someone’s attention. Think about it for a moment, from a perspective that is not your own. Imagine you are in their place, and how you would feel if someone spoke to you horribly. Equally, imagine the difference it would make if someone was kind to you, when everyone else was not. Simple actions, behavioural changes and understanding can change the world. You just must apply it to everything, every example that you can.

Say thank you with sincerity. Mean it, no matter who it is, or for what it’s for. As much as we like to believe in a society that there are certain rights we have, which we do not – such as the right to be served at a restaurant – we… don’t. Someone could just say, no.
“I have the right to refuse you, and I do.” So when you are served, when you would like to be – say thank you. And pleases are just basic manners.

Your opinion is not inherently worth more than anyone else. While of course, someone who is actually educated on a subject may have the facts to more accurately represent it, it does not mean they are any more important than the next person who wants to discuss it. Discussion is for everyone, so listen to everyone’s opinion. Do not simply wait for your turn to speak. Listen. Use it to change your own opinion, or cement it. Regardless of what it does, it is almost always certainly worth it, as long as the person on the other end is genuine.

IF we had wished to achieve serenity now, all of these things we should have begun to do a long time ago. But while we must be patient and wait a little longer, and to some degree this can be disheartening, simply remember the following phrase;

“The best time to plant a tree, is twenty years ago. The second best time, is now.”

This will guide you, and remind you that all things worthwhile require persistence, patience, consistency, and sacrifice.

This is all a lot to remember. And a lot to do. But the truth is, the small change in attitude brings about all of the following in turn, a domino effect. Once you approach everything with kindness, and acceptance first, all of your future decisions can be made by you in the moment, rather than requiring guidance, and a list of examples by which you can conduct yourself.

Use advice as your guidelines, not your rule book.

And finally, while peace and a global serenity may not be achieved tomorrow; while it will require an immense amount of effort and forgiveness on all sides; while it will require the removal of pride from the equation and the relinquishment of “the upper hand” of power – you can start today. You can be the best you can be, and as that’s all you can do – you as a human, and the ones you love close to you, can achieve serenity now.

 

 

IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT

That feeling you get when you’ve let yourself down. It’s something else, isn’t it? The core fact that it’s solely you who is responsible for what you’ve done, and though you hope to turn to someone and deflect that feeling onto them, most likely those you love the most, you know that as a reasonable human being, you cannot. There is nowhere to turn,  but inwards. It’s your fault, and you’re disappointed.

It isn’t easy – because the more you feel the person responsible needs to be “punished”, to feel remorseful and to atone, the more you inflict that damage upon yourself. And that explosion of emotion inwards, is crushing. It should be noted you should never do this to any human being or anything living for that matter of fact, under any circumstances. So why do you do it to yourself? Your asking them to feel bad, and that person is you, and you feel worse, but you ask for more punishment – That’s sadism. Or masochism.

We’ve all been disappointed by our actions, and known someone who is disappointed in their actions, and when you have let someone down, all you want is retraction, for it to go away. You want forgiveness.

Give. Forgiveness.

If you do not, you are only inflicting more hurt upon a person. Unnecessary hurt – because they are already disappointed in themselves. They already understand the effect of their actions and are apologetic for them, so what are you trying to achieve? It’s one of the most unfair acts that you can take upon another living being, and we’ve all felt it when someone does not offer us forgiveness, and it’s horrible. You’re asking for people you care for, or people you respect, to accept you once more as not being perfect, and if they do not accept that, you feel small. Smaller than small. You feel insignificant. Deflated. Incapacitated.

If you were to pick yourself up, what would it matter since you’re so small.

That is not a feeling anyone should feel. To inflict this upon someone – that is a lack of kindness. Kindness is the greatest thing you can ever give, and you can give it in limitless quantities. Perhaps the only thing you can truly give in unlimited quantities. If you refuse to share, it is a selfishness like nothing else, for by sharing it you do not lose it.

Be kind. To others and to yourself. What you need to understand is that everyone too is not perfect, and so if anything, when you make a mistake you are most like those around you. You should be most accepted for the fact that you are flawed, for it is a trait of life. You may feel separated, but you are united with the rest of the human race. While others may feel shame for their mistakes, they may be unaccepting of it, or at least unaccepting to admit it, and so project that upon you as they see themselves as in higher standing, or wish to appear so. When really they are not. They are looking thought carnival mirrors. Do not concern yourself with these people. Do not be one of these people. They are toxic.

But what is most important to remember, is that the only person who can truly offer you forgiveness for your own actions – is you. While what you may have done is let yourself down, it’s important to know that the only action that is truly letting you down, is your punishment upon yourself and the sheer lack of forgiveness you have given upon yourself. You are human, you are particularly prone to mistake, because of your own awareness of it. If you are aiming for perfection, for a concept or of yourself – let that go. You’re comparing to a perfect idea, yet no thing perfect exists in nature. The very laws of physics and biology falter at times, they act erratically. So too will you. But since you are capable of imagining the perfect thought, you can aim to achieve it, but you never will. You are comparing your achievements to a reality that does not exist, and as always, comparison is the enemy of joy, and so you will cease to be joyful, despite your best efforts.

Disappointment in oneself comes with life, as do mistakes. But they are not something to be feared, to be consistent, or to be reverent. They are to be accepted, to be processed, and to be left behind, where they offered us improvement.

While it is fine to be disappointed with oneself, understand that the very fact that you are reflects kindly upon you, for you wish to be better. There are those who do bad, and are thankful for their iniquity to the world. You are actively sorrowful for your act, which by itself places you among the rest of the good in the world.

We all make error. We are all incapable of perfection.

And once you have realised that about yourself – Give. Forgiveness.