So, here’s where the rubber meets the road. Yesterday, I wrote about seeing the best in people. And I love doing that in my role as teacher, friend, colleague, volunteer. But probably the hardest place for me to practice seeing the best in people is when it comes to family.
Because let’s face it, family life is tough. We get on each other’s last nerve. And then some. (A few readers REALLY know what I’m talking about. You know who you are…)
I think my personal challenge in life is this: to see the best in all people, but especially those whom I hold the closest. And it is certainly a challenge, by times. Believe me. (And, yes. I know it works the other way too…sure, I’m no walk in the park. #gladbriansnotonfacebook.)
Here’s the thing. I often post funny stories on Facebook about our family life. They are humorous glimpses into Gard family life. I choose these stories carefully. I don’t show you everything. I save the best for my Mom.
Truly. There are times when I feel there is nothing funny about our family. When I’d rather cry than laugh. There are times when the kids do nothing but fight, from dawn until dusk. There are times when Brian and I are distant. There are times when I feel such a disconnect, and that’s just inside the four walls of our home.
And it is at those times that I feel the greatest challenge to love. To see the best. To find something funny to share. Because truth be told, the days where I am at my funniest self are usually the days when I’ve been at my lowest self here behind the computer screen.
So now you know the rest of the story.
So when I feel the challenge to see the best in people, it is really a call to my deepest self. A call to see that inside ever y heart there is feeling. Inside every soul there is stirring. Inside every little hand there is warmth. Inside every big one, too. Inside everybody is a little goodness. And the challenge is to find that goodness. And make it the focal point!
The other night, the kid’s had an epic “Mother-of-all” fights while Brian was in getting groceries at Foodland. If you witnessed this while walking by in the parking lot, I do apologize. If you were within a one mile vicinity and heard it, I offer the sincerest of requests for forgiveness. Our bad. And then some.
When the kids got home, Brian called a family meeting. We don’t have these very often. I was sadly out at the time. I took issue with him for having a family meeting without Mom in attendance, but that’s a whole other story. The point of the family meeting was for each person to express their thoughts and feelings and tell what they wished things could be like, if everyone wasn’t ‘at each other’s throats’ all the time.
And the bottom line message from each person’s comments was this: stop seeing the worst in one another. See the best.
If families could be the trendsetters in this one area, in seeing the best in people, can you imagine what our world would look like? What a message that would send…to the media, to public institutions, to policy setters, to the movers and shakers? I think the reaction would be out of this world.
I write this tonight because I am one of the worst for this, when it comes to family: it’s usually glass-half empty. And until I write my funny status up-dates, I am usually full of piss and vinegar. I preach to myself, people. And, when and if we Gards ever truly do see one anothers best for even, oh! say 75 % of the time, I’ll be sure to let you all know what that looks like. Here’s hoping for a miracle…