The other day one of my children was yelling at me, (your kids probably NEVER do that!) about something they were unhappy that I had decided. They were questioning my authority and opinion and in my frustration I retorted back, "Just add this to the list of THINGS I DON'T KNOW!"
For some reason that statement kept ringing in my ears for hours after I said it. So I started pondering and thinking about that statement. I started thinking about all the things I don't know. The list is long. Very Long. EXTREMELY long. It was discouraging. A little depressing. Although impressive in length.
Then I started thinking about all the THINGS I KNOW and was startled by the differences in the lists. The "Don't Know" list was focused more on small facts that could be learned, or couldn't be learned(AP calculus for example) or obscure events, feelings or religious doctrines that may or may not be understood in this life. The things I don't know can be troubling or frustrating or even motivating. But the "THINGS I KNOW" list brings me comfort, helps me reach higher, makes me want to be a better person (not just gain smarts) and I feel gives me more opportunities to empower myself and those around me. So in the past week as I have pondered these two very different lists, I've decided to focus on the list of things I know. Today I'm gonna share a few with you.
Kindness really does matter. A lot. Last year kindness was something I focused all everyday. It made a huge difference in my life. I was surprised how often reacting with kindness changed the entire atmosphere of our home for the day, or when I didn't react with kindness how it could destroy that same atmosphere.
Several times when I treated the people around me with kindness instead of judging them rudely or treating them impatiently they told me stories of how hard their day had been, and how my kindness helped them feel better about life in general. The number one group of people I saw that truly need more kindness were customer service people at stores. So many people treat them harshly, with rudeness, act like everything is their fault. They are just trying to do their job. Slow down! Speak and act with kindness. See them for the people of value that they are. Be kind. They will in turn almost always give kindness back.
WE ARE ALL IMPORTANT
I am important. You are important. Everyone is important. You have incredible and immense value. In my religion we believe we are children of GOD. We have infinite value that cannot be diminished by choices we make or things other people do to us, or even things we do to ourselves. Our Value never decreases. You are a masterpiece. Created by Deity. Treat yourself as such. Treat others as such. You life, your self worth will get better, just because you are showing faith and trust in your own importance and the importance of those around you.
SERVICE BRINGS HAPPINESS
Whenever I feel picked on, and lousy. Whenever I just can't seem to find anything about my life that good. Service is something that can bring me out of the funk. When I was pregnant with every single one of our 6 children I would get sick for the first 14-18 weeks. Feeling crappy, throwing up 3-7 times a day, physically exhausted and lets face it, depressed. I will function on auto pilot on my best days and lay in bed crying (and throwing up) on my worst. For almost every pregnancy there would come a time around 12-14 weeks were my amazing husband would come to me, sit by my bedside and say something like "You need to get up. You need to think about someone besides yourself. I'm sorry you feel like crap, I wish I could take this from you, but you've got to serve someone else."
You may say he was insensitive. But he was right. He knew that I was so focused on myself and how crappy I felt that I needed a reason to get out of bed, and that reason wasn't going to be me. (I was the reason I wanted to stay there) Every single time I listened to him and thought about the friends, neighbors and family members that I could serve, got out of bed, or off the couch and served someone, the depression started to lessen. The days slowly became better. The time in bed got shorter. I started to feel happier. Now you may argue that my morning sickness was just going away around that time. Or that my hormones were leveling out in the second trimester. You say whatever makes you feel better. SERVICE makes me feel better.
GRATITUDE CHANGES ATTITUDE
I tell this to my kids all the time. I need to practice it more. Whenever I feel like Life is really kicking me when I'm down, I need to be grateful. I have soooo many blessings. I have a home, a Family, food to eat, a bed to sleep in, Children to love me and to love, a loving husband, the list goes on and on. When I focus on the many things I have instead of what I want, or think I deserve, my attitude changes. Gratitude can change your attitude. You just have to try.
EVERYONE DESERVES RESPECT
This goes back to the golden rule, "TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED." I believe this. I should treat everyone I come in contact with how I would want to be treated in that situation. There are times I struggle with this, there are many who have done horrific things to others, especially children. The mob mentality would be to ask for horrific things to be done to that person as punishment. But I truly believe everyone deserves respect, even when they deserve the death penalty they deserve the respect they refused their victims. I'm not saying they deserve cable TV and incredible food and everyone to treat them perfectly as they live out their sentence. But they do deserve basic necessities of life, a fair trial and a fair consequence for their actions. That is respect.
I'm also a big advocate for respect of the Elderly. More and more children are showing no regard for the elderly and the wisdom and life they have given to their family and those around them. The elderly around us whether we know them personally or not deserve respect, and a lending hand whenever needed. We will all be there someday, God willing. Open a door, load their groceries, help them find what they are looking for. Serve them, respect them, they deserve it.
HARD WORK PAYS OFF
Whether your mowing lawns, fixing cars, writing contract law, doing heart surgeries, or cleaning house and putting band aids on boo boos, hard work pays off. Get in there, get dirty, get the job done. I hate wasting time when I know I could be getting things done. I know there's a time and a place for relaxing and having a good time, but the truth is life isn't all about play. Hard work will get you to your goals, hard work will pay off. So buckle down get the job done and move on up to the next level. Do the best you can at whatever it is your doing and people will notice. You can live your dreams, but first you gotta earn them.
Now this is obviously not a comprehensive list of the Things I Know but honestly. I think this is a pretty good list. A very important one. Probably more important then AP Calculus. Sorry Mr. Corsi.