Here’s another thought I’d like to share
Rather than “Be the better person,Be your best person!
When in conflict with another person, I have often heard myself or someone else say, “Be the better person.” Only recently has it dawned on me that this statement is wrought with judgment. If we “take the high road” or refuse to “stoop to someone’s level” aren’t we really deciding that we are right, they are wrong, and basically, (oh cringe) that we are more righteous than they are? No matter what, the whole idea of being the “better person” separates us from one another, decreases our opportunities for compassion, and increases our chances of becoming resentful and angry. In Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, he says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” If, instead of taking on the intention of being the “better person,” we could act from the intention of being the best person we can possibly be, our actions might be the same, but the impact on us would be vastly different. We would build trust in our own inner voice. We would be acting lovingly toward ourselves and thus increase our tendency to do so in the future. So, rather than “be the better person,” “be your best person!” This shifts the reason for our actions from being based on someone else’s behaviors to being based on our own values and/or character. To walk away from a situation and be able to say, “I was my best person” feels whole, connected and centered. On the other hand, to walk away from a situation feeling like, “I was the better person” might seem like it would feel good, but ends up feeling self-inflated, disconnected, and fragmented. The cost of proving yourself “right” is making someone else “wrong.” Basically it’s a lose/lose scenario. When you are your “best person,” you win and the other person is left to figure out what they need to do for themselves. They might find a way to win as well, or they may not – you’re not in control of that. You only get to control your intentions and your actions. The outcomes are left to a much greater force. And that’s good news! It means you’re only responsible for you! May we all take that responsibility seriously; investing our energy and insight into being the best person we can be in each moment of our lives.
Wishing you best!
Originally Published June 8, 2010by