I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a while. I just haven’t settled down long enough to get myself together.
Always the same story over here.
My sister moved in about six weeks ago. She’s eight years younger than me and still starting her adult life, and she accepted a position near our house. Having her has been a pleasure. She’s messy but loving, clueless yet helpful. Most importantly, she has the patience of a saint. Basically she’s a great mix of just about everything and we are rolling along wonderfully.
At one of my son’s baseball games recently, she arrived a little later than me. She came over to the bleachers and sat down. We were chatting and carrying on, and after a few minutes I got up and walked over to my Hubby to tell him something.
After I left, another parent came back to the bleachers and walked up to my sister. She said, “I was sitting here before.” My sister is like me, happy and completely unaware most times. She assumed the lady left something behind.
“Did you leave something?” My sister asked.
“No. I was sitting here. You are in my seat. Do you see those things underneath you? Those are mine because I was sitting here.”
This took my sister by surprise, because she didn’t know this lady had been sitting there. She didn’t move any of this mother’s belongings or do anything malicious. Yet this person, who I am told is actually quite kind, approached my sister in a manner that accused her of doing those things.
And when my sister looked dumbfounded (because she was) the mother responded to her rudely.
This is my answer to this. It’s our family motto: E.L.E.
Everybody Love Everybody.
In all situations, we need to respond with kindness. This story about my sister is small potatoes. But it happens every day, all the time. We assume someone moved our stuff. We read a text wrong. We jump to conclusions regarding actions, words and things we hear.
We get snappy.
We respond rudely to people who really have no freakin’ idea what the problem is. Here is my solution. LOVE EVERYBODY.
You don’t have to be friends with everyone, you don’t have to do favors or bend over backwards for everyone you know or meet. But you can, always, respond with kindness. Just love. You don't have to make issues and make problems. Even if you're annoyed, you can't assume the other person is purposefully doing something to agitate you, And even if they are, is it worth the trouble?
We use this motto, “E.L.E.” all the time. If one of my kids is telling a story that involves kids being rude, we remind them E.L.E. If my kids start with a story about a kid who is annoying or strange, it’s E.L.E. I'll be honest, kids can be cruel. Even mine. I'll be the first to admit they make mistakes, and I do too. Which is why this is such a great reminder on how to behave.
My goodness wouldn’t the world be fabulous if everyone’s first reaction to everything was with love? Imagine what a different place this would be. Kill people with kindness. All day long.
You don’t have to be their best friend, you don’t have to agree with what everyone is doing or how they are living their lives. But you can spread love. Have you ever tried to be mean to someone is so incredibly nice?
It’s really hard.
And it should be.