Most of the advice I give is not new to the world. Each nugget is, however, something that is helpful to know and remind ourselves of. I live each day in the knowledge that if I keep my mind and heart open there is always more to learn, even about things I already have sound knowledge and expertise in.
We are not responsible for how others respond to events, actions, or conversation. Even when we cause the event, we take action that affects them, or we are the giver of information, we can only control how we say what we say, and how we do what we do. If we make sure we offer helpful advice with hope and love in our hearts we can encourage each other to be better. I repeat: we are not responsible for how others react. Sometimes it will not be right for us to speak. Other times there will be people that know better than we do. We do not know everything about anything and if we make room for growth life is exciting.
In many living situations we must find a compromise. We all come from different backgrounds. We’ve all had different family lives. We’ve all grown up having different experiences. If we bring the best of that to where we are we can make our environment one we want to live in, one we thrive in. If we think we know best, subconsciously or with overt thought, there is the potential for friction. Asking someone you live with to change their behaviour is difficult, even if we absolutely believe there is a better way. Being asked to change our behaviours is also difficult, we can become defensive because we think we are being attacked. Being either the giver of information or the receiver of advice requires the right attitude and an approachable demeanour. We will not always be right, but intelligent discussion instead of heated argument can arrive at that conclusion more quickly.
In my current flat there are things I think are simple to do that help out everybody living here. Empty the dishwasher if it’s full, clean, and you want to put something in it. What happens if nobody in the house decides to empty it? It stays full and there is the chance for resentment to build, especially if the same person ends up emptying it every time. Tidy the kitchen after you have finished using it – the same goes for any room which is public space. What happens if the person who always cleans up the mess goes on holiday? The house stays untidy and there is opportunity for resentment to build. Other people use these areas and it’s nice not to have to clean up before cooking, or eating, or spending time in the space.
Basically it boils down to a phrase we have probably heard. A phrase which the meaning is simple to understand:
Leave something better than you found it.
This beautiful planet earth we have been gifted by the grace of God will not last if we keep treating it like a commodity, something to use and then discard. The same applies to relationships, property, our front garden, technology. If we constantly squeeze every last drop out of something and then throw it away we will damage friendships, damage family relationships, make the house we live in worse for its next inhabitants, push plants to the brink of death, all by perpetuating a consumerist mindset.
Time. We only get ours once. Use the superpowers you have for the power good. Be good to others and see how much better the world is for it.
Be good, keep good, and sleep good, dear readers. Peace.