Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)
TITLE: One Wise Guy's Opinion
By Linda Germain
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I seem to run into so many angry, hateful, mean-spirited people. How can we “love our neighbors” when they are low-down, nasty acting, dirt-bags? Where is the love?
We cannot make others behave the way we think is right. We can control how WE act, and more important, how we REACT. Every response is a choice.
The next time someone snarls, try a double dose of kindness. That person may have just heard bad news, or is broke with no place to go, or has been betrayed by a spouse or child or parent, or is suffering from the pain of a physical or emotional trauma. Many scenarios can cloud the vision and affect behavior.
Where is love, you ask? Find it in your own heart. Treat others the way you would want to be treated and pray that your example will touch someone who has no clue how to communicate in loving and positive ways.
My husband “Al” is a hard working, decent man but he is acting so different from when we first married. I don’t think he loves me anymore. All he talks about is his dream of owning a red sports car. It’s not that we can’t afford it, but there would be no room for me and the kids and the three dogs or my mother who lives with us. I say we need a mini-van. What is Al thinking? All of us would never fit.
Al’s Old Lady
Seems as plain as day to me. He’s thinking, “All of you would never fit.”
Al is trying to tell you something and you can’t see the forest for the trees…or the husband for the people and animals.
He may feel trapped. Leave Grandma with the kids and you and Al go shopping for his dream vehicle. Remember, a sports car always has a passenger seat. I predict you will become his dream girl again. There are plenty of dependable, pre-owned family automobiles you can purchase for the group.
You aren’t a man, and a man is certainly not a woman, but the best relationship advice I can give to both camps is so simple: if you could change places with your spouse, how would you feel if you worked hard and had a frivolous-seeming dream no one took seriously? Give him this break.
I know you have degrees galore, and lots of experience, and have written all those books and even been on TV, but I have noticed something about you. All your advice always seems to boil down to a simple rule…the Golden one. I thought everybody knew that, so what did all your education do for you?
It made me realize the basic premise in all communication is The Golden Rule.
Think about it. If there’s a breakdown in any relationship (in the work place, with our children or spouses or parents, in the community, at church) we can usually trace the problem back to a selfish behavior.
Being humans, those deadly sins most certainly trip us up and try to corrupt us (in case you don’t remember them, they are: lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy, and pride).
And just how do we stop the disruption generated from sin? Don’t do to someone else what you would never want done to you. Period.
Dear Doctor Sol,
I want to run away. No one understands me. My mother yells all the time about what she thinks is inappropriate language, and my father doesn’t trust me. He says I’m “asking for it” the way I dress and that I need to get some good sense. What’s it to them? They made plenty of mistakes.
There are some things you won’t understand until you have matured enough to have accumulated a little wisdom. Having said that, it sounds like your parents love you or they wouldn’t care how you speak and what you wear.
I suggest you ask for a family meeting. Don’t push any buttons by wearing provocative clothing or peppering your comments with trashy talk. Simply ask them if you all made a few changes, would they trust you and stop hurting your feelings with all the yelling.
I’m sending you a copy of my book, If Parents and Children Could Change Places. We can all stand a refresher course in doing unto others.
Pass it on.
Psalm 133:1 (NKJV)
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Luke 6:31 (NKJV)
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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