Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Growing up in a houseful of young women was sometimes a little difficult. So my dad started quoting from the movie Bambi. He told us:
"If you can't say something nice, don't say ANYTHING at all."
Another popular expression was:
"Think first, speak second."
Now, I know that I personally need to work on this more and I have been doing a LOT better. But I must tell you. I didn't expect to make a LOT of friends when we moved. I knew that we would be busy getting settled into a new house, new ward, new job and lots of those other things people do daily. However, the Lord had a different plan. I was blessed to be in a section of the housing area where a lot of my neighbors are LDS. It makes such a difference to live near people with the same beliefs and morals as you. Some of our other neighbors are devout Christians and I firmly believe we all get along so well not only because of other commonalities such as our jobs, children and favorite extracurricular activities, but also that we all have very similar faiths and beliefs.
Over the years I have said my fair share of stupid things, just ask my parents how I pronounce Conoco. They will both start giggling. What makes me sad though is that nowadays with so many social networking sites and the younger generation being obsessed with voicing every single thought , feelings are being hurt and lies, rumors and slander is being spread much more easily. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are aimed directly at our generation allowing our thoughts to be spread out across the whole internet for just about anyone to read. And, in recent years, this has led to cyber-bullying which has led to devastating tragedies occurring. I try often to think about what I will blog about because I don't know how many people will read this. I do the same practice with my own Facebook account and have scaled back greatly about what I say.
You might ask what brought this on. A dear friend of mine who lives nearby had a few friends over and we played some games. Some silly games. Everyone was going out of their way to provide outrageous answers and we were all laughing. Little did we know that one person there decided that instead of people laughing at the game we were laughing at THEM. So this person went home after our fun was had and decided to post on Facebook about how it was very difficult for them to be with new people because they had all laughed and made fun. Thankfully someone left a comment and suggested that maybe this person who had "been hurt" had taken things too seriously and that the others in attendance didn't know that what they had said would have been taken negatively. But the person who had been hurt denied this and insisted that everyone was picking on them and that they needed to choose better friends.
I can understand having feelings of angst and being insecure. I mean, who isn't?! But to openly voice such negative opinions of others that you had just met and only spent time playing games with, then to deny a plausible explanation and therefore call out or make the others who were there look like terrible people is a serious thing. I was at that gathering. I never in any way felt that anyone was having comments directed at them personally. To me, the person who got hurt, decided to take offense at a game and lash out hurting many others in the process.
I have also heard of other stories about young girls being bullied or picked on due to differences. Well let me share something with you. Being young is HARD. There are many life lessons to learn. No one has an overly easy time during their junior and senior high school years. You can NOT control what people will say to you. You CAN however decide how you will react to what is said to or about you. And, if something someone says bothers you, you must tell them how it made you feel. That person might not even know that they were upsetting or hurting you. SO, with that said I would like to share something else:
MY "NEW YOU" resolutions. I think that this time of year is great to reflect on what you would like to do differently but not just for a new year. For a new and better you. Here are some of mine:
1. Think before I speak.
sometimes just even things I say daily to myself, my husband or my family are things that I should watch more closely. You can't un-say things. However you can pause and think things through before opening your mouth!
2. Scale back on the social networking.
I admit, I love me some FaceBook, but I think everyone could scale back and would benefit greatly from that.
3. Think about OTHERS before I talk about something that happened.
For instance, if the person who got their feelings hurt would have thought about how badly they would be hurting all the other people who were there, the whole FaceBook blast would not have happened and lots of feelings and friendships could have been spared or salvaged.
In my marriage these last 3 years one of the most humbling things to happen to me is my apologies. I might not be able to un-say things but I can give a heartfelt sincere apology.
5. Forgive and Forget.
This goes hand in hand with the apology. Just because you or someone else apologizes doesn't always mean things well get resolved. However, if you make an effort to truly forgive, friendships can be salvaged. And you can never have too many friends.
6. Put myself in that persons position.
I think if *everyone* stopped and took an extra minute to think about trying to put themselves in another persons shoes there would be a lot less fighting. I don't know what it's like to be married at 19 because I was 23 when I got married. So I have to remember what I was like at 19 and think about that. I have a son with Down syndrome. If people stopped to think about that combined with that fact that he is 2 AND I have a 1 year old they would say certain things to me!
7. Make a decision to NOT be offended.
Do you know how many ignorant and stupid things are said to me on a weekly basis?! I could write a joke book. That many. Ha ha. But guess what?! I can let those things go. I might not forget them all right away (like the donut lady-but that is just classic) but I CAN choose to not be offended and try to laugh it off until I am ready to move on.
This is just me and my opinion but I am resolving this year to be a better version of myself. I am going to be the best me I know how to. I am sure I will make mistakes and slip up on the way but guess what?! To err is human. And I know that I will learn from my mistakes.
That is enough preaching out of me. I'm out to go get some baby snuggles. WOOHOO!