Last night I listened to my daughter complain because her bed hadn’t been made exactly the way she wants it. Forget the fact that someone (not me) had taken the time to give her a nice, clean inviting place to sleep and arranged her favorite stuffed animals just so (and if you know my kid, that’s no easy feat).
Nope, she was only focused on the fact that her extra blanket wasn’t in the precise and preferred GPS location for optimal tushy placement.
This little exchange came back to me this morning as I was thumbing through social media, catching up on blogs I like to read during my morning.
Maybe I am reading the wrong kind of stuff online, but so much of what I read is about people being ‘wronged’ and most of the time it is for a minor infraction, you know, like the way a bed is made. More often than not the terrible thing is something we perceive, rather than something which has been directly done or said to us.
Even worse, we take someone’s good intentions and dissect them because they don’t fit into our ideas. The good intentions get thrown into the trash, because they weren’t delivered in precisely in the right way, like 2nd blanket coordinates.
My daughter and the bed making? She got that from me.
The blogosphere is full of talking about being kind, appreciating what you have, being in the present moment, forgiving. We pay great lip service online to gratitude.
Then we go on about how someone who nodded at us from across the room didn’t greet us or greet us in the way we wanted to be greeted, or how some mom at the grocery store didn’t handle their melting-down child correctly. Or how someone cut in line or asked for directions stupidly. Or how the check out lady wished us Merry Christmas and shouldn’t have or Happy Hanukkah and shouldn’t have or Happy Holidays and shouldn’t have.
That’s a Big Gulp of shouldn’t when the whole thing was about a damn greeting.
Before you think this post is me being wronged, I am here to say that quite a few of the examples I just pointed out are things that I have done.
Wrong happens around us all the time. Shootings, stabbings, wars, disease, abuse, neglect, wanting. Those things are wrong. These other things, they are diversity in real time.
I don’t want my daughter to be like this. I don’t want her to grow up and be hypercritical of others. I don’t want her to miss the point.
There’s only one way to do that. I have to stop it too.