It’s no secret that the world we live in today is more often than not, cruel, unforgiving and downright depressing. However, there is a saying with such simple truth it’s astounding, “You are where your attention takes you.”
I know, it’s easy to get entirely wrapped up in the news, bystanders talking doom and gloom, family gatherings where it’s all negativity, coworkers that love antagonism, on and on. We face it nearly each and every day. It’s easy to not realize you’ve been sucked up in its incredibly powerful vortex, too. Be different…be kind!
My very wise husband says, “You cannot control what’s around you but you can control how you react/respond to it. The only one you control is YOU!” Do you give your attention to it? Does it bring you down? Or do you make a choice to walk away from what is expected and be bold enough to be different?
Criticism Is Everywhere …Choose Kindness
Here’s a practical example that perhaps you can relate to, or better yet, have an example of your own in its place pop into your mind.
Just the other day my husband and I were at the grocery store and an obviously new, inexperienced young girl was operating the register. Bless her heart, she was knocking our bagged groceries off the counter and into the floor, making all sorts of register errors, causing us to need to swipe our payment card several times.
Let me ask you this: How many times have you been at a new job and felt completely vulnerable, unable to perform the tasks with ease – or even at all? Even a little empathy goes a long way. What do you wish someone would have come alongside of you during those days and said to lift you up, to encourage you? Perhaps that is the gift you could give to someone else in need?
In that moment, we could have really hurt her feelings and probably ruined her day or week. We could have judged her, criticized her and made her feel even less competent than she clearly already did. Or, we could encourage her, offer her words of kindness, help her to know that it’s okay, she’ll learn it in due time. She will master the skills she needs to excel at this job. And hey, she may find out that she isn’t suited for this particular job at all and go find one that she does excel at.
Put yourself in other people’s shoes. It’s not that hard. Think about the impact of your words and your actions. There is a saying that goes something like this, “Do you leave someone after interacting with you feeling better about themselves than before they met you?” If you can answer yes to that question, you’ve achieved more than you could ever imagine. For you, offering encouragement to that person may have lasted only a moment, but that moment for them may have changed their whole lives. When you enable someone to see the value in themselves and feel cherished, how powerful is that? You do have the ability to influence that much change.
One To Remember
“Tell me what I CAN do because the rest of the world is telling me what I CAN’T.”
Wow. I don’t know about you but those words pierce my heart to its core. We have so many groups of people in this world who are considered disadvantaged automatically because of their skin color, the culture they were raised in, the societal “status” that was issued to them at birth, age, weight, medical conditions, being raised in homes with little to no support or encouragement. There are endless examples I could give you, but I know you too are fully aware of the unique challenges some face.
Think about that quote above for a moment. Tell me I can because I’m used to being told I can’t. A Scripture comes to mind here…
Philippians 4:13 Living Bible (TLB)
13 for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.”
It doesn’t matter what your family has told you or discouraged you from doing. Nor does it matter if you don’t have all the money in the world. It doesn’t matter if your skin, hair or body doesn’t look like some Photoshopped computer-generated image (THANK GOODNESS FOR YOU!), you didn’t grow up in the “right neighborhood” or your race isn’t what some have considered “the right one.” All of that are lies. Lies are designed to stop you from being who God uniquely created YOU to be. You are not supposed to be like anyone else, look like anyone else, talk like anyone else or do what others do. You are supposed to be you. And guess what? No one on this planet can beat you because only you can do what you were designed to do!
So yes, I am telling you what you CAN do. What you can do is anything you are being led to do, so long as it is for good what you are considering. Anything that harms you or someone else, that’s garbage and should be immediately removed from your life.
What’s The Moral Of The Story?
Ever heard that saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar?” It’s an old English Proverb that has much truth to it.
I don’t know about you, but I truly believe (and have witnessed) that what goes around comes around. How you treat others today will be how you are treated in the end. How will you feel when you need someone to be there for you and there’s no one to be found because you never took the time to be kind? I’m not talking about the phony sort of kind that is most prevalent in today’s world. I’m talking about the “you before me” mentality, the one that truly makes a difference in someone’s life.
Don’t be like everyone else. Be different, be you, but most of all, be kind. It means more than you know. We need the genuine article you are in this world. Drop your fear, drop your pretense. Then pick up the belief that there’s no one created like you and you are special.
I hope you will leave us a message here in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you. Have you discovered how uniquely awesome you are? 🙂 Tell us!