Be... Finish that statement. How will you "Be"? Go ahead. I'll wait (insert Jeopardy music here). In all seriousness when was the last time, you thought about that? How do you want to be?
How we act, react and treat our family, friends and those around us is always changing and growing. Especially as we ourselves change and grow through our experiences. The ever disconnecting way we interact with the world is lessening the human contact, well before and beyond the realm of social media. We've been pressing "1 for English" most of my adult life and I remember when "self-check" became a thing.
As of late, I'm been really thinking about how I've been reacting to things and how others are reacting to me. I'm working to change my own disconnected attitude. In breaking my thoughts down, I hope to provide you with some food for thought and with something to consider the next time you act or react.
Here are the FIVE things I want to be or am working on being:
We aren't curious enough to ask questions anymore. Instead, we correct. We don't listen to understand, we listen to respond. Not every conversation is about you. Not every discussion is a platform to force someone to see things through the same tunnel in which you view life. Be curious. Ask questions. Be open to learning something. Be open to adjusting your view or at least respecting the views of someone else. Don't create a situation where the other person has to defend everything they believe in. Learn their point of view before you decide you must inform them they are "wrong".
We live in an amazing country where we're all allowed the freedom of speech, the freedom to be the unique individuals we all are. Be grateful. Stop tearing other people up for sharing their thoughts and their ideas just because they don't match your own. We're constantly being told to be more accepting of "x", and yet we really aren't accepting of our own neighbors and friends that aren't of the same ilk we are. We aren't grateful for the different points of view. Instead, we are on a runaway train, a suicide mission, to force everyone to get on board with our way. We view our way as the only way the "right" way. When instead we should be grateful that there are so many different views, possibilities, and opportunities in the country we live in.
Respect opposing opinions and ideas. It's really that simple. I didn't say agree. I said respect. Those are two different things. You don't have to agree with someone else's anything, but you can respect that anything. Being respectful means that you recognize not everything is about you and your ideals. Listen to what people are telling you, or not telling you. Don't immediately state what is wrong with their view and don't go into a discussion ready to start an argument. Respect the person you are having the discussion with, be curious, be open to learning something and be willing to share without imidate offense. Open yourself up to the opportunity of teaching someone something, but again be respectful. We're all ignorant, just about different things. However, most of us are unwilling to learn from someone who shows us no respect and immediately treats us as if we are stupid and know nothing.
When was the last time you had dinner with someone and gave them your undivided attention? When was the last time you attended a meeting and left your phone behind? When was the last time you went out with friends and focused on just being with them? Stop being distracted and be present. Be present with the people in your life. Read that bedtime story, have that girls day, go on that trip, most importantly make that memory. Memories will last a lifetime and they can only be created when you choose to be present.