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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Live Without Pretending

I saw these words of pithy advice on Facebook, from which all wisdom flows, right? LOL. But they hit me as relevant to today's ever-offended society.

These four guidelines could solve a lot of problems. Of course all four are way harder to implement than they sound. But let's break them down.

Live without pretending. When I hear that I think of my grandpa. He was one of the most genuine people I've ever known. He was the same person with everyone, never putting on pretenses. What you saw was what you got, take it or leave it. He was always himself, never pretending to be anyone else. And he was respected for it.

Love without depending. This gives me mixed emotions. Isn't part of loving each other depending on one another to some extent? But I see what they're saying. Don't depend on others to meet your needs too much. That's downright irritating. Also, don't depend on others to make you happy, fulfilled, or completed. All that deep stuff has to come from within, not from someone else.

Listen without defending. It's commonplace to listen to someone while thinking of what you're going to say back. You build your defense while they're stating their case. Relax. Breathe. Listen. Try to see things from their point of view. Maybe they have a valid point. Try to empathize and see if you can agree more than disagree. I'm talking to myself here.

Speak without offending. Most people aren't idiots. We know what's offensive and what isn't. Why cross that line? Sometimes we do it to be funny. Mark my words. It's not. We may think we're smarter or more savvy than someone else. Doubtful. All we are when we speak offensively is offensive, which only makes us look bad, not the other guy. So let's try our hardest not to go there.

I bet you didn't learn anything new here. That's OK. I never said I'd provide you an education. But maybe it's good to remind ourselves of these principles from time to time. We really can change the world by the way we live.


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