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Who Knows Best?

     I listen to people all the time when I am out in public.  I listen to what they say to one another and how they say it and I'm always amazed at how many times I encounter one person telling another how to do things.  I hear husbands and wives in the grocery store, moms and dads talking to their kids in public places and often shake my head not only at what is being said but the manner it is being said.
     People can be so disrespectful to one another when they think that their way is the right way to do something.  I was talking to a friend the other day about the fact that there is always a kind way of saying something.  How hard is it really to honor another person and their way of thinking?
     I used to think that I knew the right way to do things as well, but what I found out is that I know the way that I do things.  The way that works for me.  And that others know what works for them.  I don't need to tell someone the best way to do something, they can figure it out themselves.  Even young children can figure out how to do things.  We can give them options, different ways to do a task, and then let them choose what feels most natural for them.
     I'm all for people showing me how they do things and modifying how I do things when I find it works better.  Part of what I do is to help others view their model of the world and find out where it works and where it doesn't and then give them alternatives to what isn't working.  But others have to want to change.  If they do things differently than you do, celebrate the differences and see if you can learn something from it.  
     I invite you to catch yourself when you are telling others how they should do something.  Listen to your tone of voice, and ask yourself, do you really need to tell them that?  Did they solicit your opinion or did you feel the need to tell them?  Listen to yourself for a day or two and if you have children that need to be told something, listen to how you speak to them.  Do you do it with kindness and respect for the little individuals that they are?  Or are you exasperated and unloading on them?  Kindness goes a long way, try being kind in all of your dealings and see how the other person reacts and even more important, how you feel about yourself................

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