Believe in nothing, no matter who says it, even if I say it, if it does not agree with your own experience and your own common sense ~ Buddha

I felt my thoughts were incomplete w/regards to my last post.

I didn’t mean to be cryptic, but I seem to have referred a little too vaguely to a truism, which while obvious to me, night not be obvious to the world at large.

Namely, just because you think of things a certain way, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they ARE a certain way.

Sometimes, of course, you know you are grossly in the wrong — like when it turns out the office bitch is having problems at home.

Other times, the times to which I referred in my last post, your mistake was to think of others as better than they were, label them as hypocrite for not living up to their own values and blaming them for their human frailties.

This is the problem. This all too often, give people permission to “write off” the people around them. This is patently unfair, and leads to bad feelings and lowered standards all the way around.

The standard advice these days is to “expect a lot– and you’ll get it” This is often true, that people will strive to live up the positive image others hold of them. However, being only human, they will inevitably fall short.

This doesn’t mean the strategy is faulty. It is the human that is faulty. This is not their fault, either. I realize that this is how a lot of religions work–condemning people for their flaws and then “allowing” them to humbly attempt to atone for the sin of being human.

Not only is this cruel, it’s also highly ineffective. It takes a wide and deep masochistic streak in a person to take that kind of mental abuse and still strive to better themselves. Most people, if they get the idea that people expect them to be hateful, useless or dumb, will happily give them what they expect.

Therefore, when people fail to live up to your standards, and their own, do not condemn or punish. Accept, forgive if necessary, and strive to move forward. We’re only human, but together we can be a lot more.

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