Tuesday, November 09, 2004

words to live by

I was watching Joan of Arcadia tonight on Tivo. I'm such a sucker for "nice" shows like that. This one episode really got me thinking though. Joan gets upset at her best friend 'cause she sees her hugging Joan's boyfriend, without knowing the context.

My mother is one of the wisest people I know. She has said many things over the years that have really helped me to live my life happily rather than in misery... I'll get to them all over time. For now, though, the pearl that I was reminded of watching this episode.

Never assume that someone is deliberately trying to hurt you or another person. Wait until you have all the facts. Talk to them!

I see so many instances in my own life, in the news, and portrayed in the media where people's lives would be so much easier if they just lived by this. Think about how many times something you've said or done has been taken to be malicious when that totally wasn't the intent. I do find myself, on occasion, getting upset about something that a person has said or done without completely understanding why they might have done it or what they might be thinking. I try really hard to follow this adage - I actively try and remind myself that in all likelihood it's just a mistake, not an active attempt to be nasty. And that has always been true!

I think that so many arguments that people / couples have could be avoided if they didn't assume the worst. If you ask your SO to do something and they don't - assuming that they actively didn't do it because they were trying to spite you for some reason... gets you upset, you yell... leads down a nasty path of recrimination and counter-recrimination. On the other hand, imagine that perhaps they just forgot, and a gentle reminder will do the trick. Something to think about anyway.


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