How many times have we heard ourselves saying, ” It is okay, I need to be more understanding and kind towards people because…” or “They need room to grow, so it is okay for me to feel this way, I hope things will change for the better”.
Consideration, Empathy, Love and Understanding: These are the fundamentals in a relationship be it with your lover, family or friends but how many of us do really understand the priorities of exercising them well.
There is a thin line between being kind and being used. Be it emotionally or physically, we need to know and understand how our actions impact our feelings inside. I can be kind and generous all the while but if at the end of the day, I get saddened by feelings of dissatisfaction and unappreciated I have got to reflect on my own character. Was I doing things with sincerity or was there a motive behind it which lead to the grudge that I hold inside because it did not go my way. Another example would be, how can I be happy that I keep giving and pouring into other people’s lives but nobody come to put happiness or love into mine? Am I doing something wrong?
I never believe in the saying: Everybody comes first. Simply because what if there is danger in front? then what if there is a lot of goodness in front? We can never know unless we are there. So to make things simple for myself, I choose to put myself first. Be it pain or gain, I take my stand first and when I have cleared the path of any unknowing danger or pitfall, I do my best to bring others up as well. When the path ahead brings a lot of goodness, I learn that I must not be greedy so I can bring along friends and loved ones whom I care to enjoy the fruits of the labour.
Another good example would be (for those travellers, you may know this): during the in-flight emergency procedures briefing, everyone is being told that when the oxygen mask is being activated “Put on your own mask First, before helping another person or a child”. Why not the other way around? For some reasons or another the other person may not have a normal ability to do so or it could be an infant or a little child which means if you have helped them first and you did not “survived” that ordeal, how would that help them after that? Will they be able to escape the plane safely? I mean we may not know but going by logical reasons, if putting on an oxygen mask may be a challenge for them then how about escaping danger.
This is one classic example where putting yourself first does not mean that you are being selfish or a b*t*ch. It means survivability and also going a longer way so that you can help more people effectively. When I am being kind to people, patronising them, letting them have their way even when it is wrong these people in fact gets disillusioned into thinking that it is okay. You know, if I can handle it maybe others can too. But the truth is, it may not be the case. If that person is a friend and as your friend you do not show them the true ways to correct their behaviour, you are putting that friend in a danger zone.
They may choose to continue with their wilful behaviour and keep on affecting more and more people just because they are used to having “friends” like you: Adapting, accommodating and being “kind”. However, one day when someone may not able to take it anymore and decide to stand up for themselves and show the ugliness of your friend to themselves. Wont’ you be worried they may question you with things like ” why didn’t you tell me this before? am I that bad?” Of course you can continue to feed into their disillusion by assuring them that they are okay or they need more time but let’s face it nothing comes for free. Any time that you spent consoling a person who have not seen their mistakes to be given a chance to change, you are just spending your own time and effort on something which is of no value. On the other hand, being candid to your loved ones will ensure that you are able to help them to become a better person. Why fear them hating on you? why be afraid that they may crumble and fall? If your intention and purpose is to help someone become better, it has to be consistent and done with a touch of finesse and EQ.
Choosing the path to help people is never easy and it always require a lot of love and patience but everything needs education and discipline. When you are candid, you share with people their faults that you see because you wanted to work together with them to solve any issues. To be transparent however is not about being downright rude or degrading, these are people whom you care so it’s not about putting yourself on the pedestal high up there as if you are God. WE are all humans and we are born to err, we live, work and depend on one another as mirror reflections for one another.