Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hard Road

Today's HAWMC prompt is to write about who'd you'd invite to dinner if you could have any 5 guests. I'm just not a fan of that prompt, so I'm skipping it.

A friend posted this picture on facebook the other day.  I probably should have taken note of where she got it, you know, so I could give that person credit. But, alas, I did not. Just know I didn't make it. Obviously.

As I looked at it, I had this moment where I sat there, staring at it, trying to figure out why it was resonating with me. And then what came to me was "exactly. EXACTLY!!!!!!". Let me explain.

We make so many assumption's about other people. About the choices they make. About who they are. About why they do things. Questioning why they didn't just [do x, y, or z]. But, really, the only perspective we have in looking at their issue/problem/whatever, is our own. We may see other options that are obviously better. We may *know* that [x, y, or z] will produce better results. However, we neglect to realize that just because we see something as an option, doesn't mean that that person does. We have no idea what the problem looks like through their eyes. We have no idea.

Take my kid. His behavior has been a bit challenging of late (thanks to asthma and the crappy sleep that causes). I watch him make decisions that are obviously bad ones, or just plain ineffective. I think "why doesn't he just [x, y, or z]?!!!". I feel frustrated with him and sometimes lose my temper, yelling (because I've already asked him to stop something, or to do something, four hundred and eighty-three times that day). I ask why he didn't make a different choice. And he stares at me like I've grown a 2nd head. And I feel more than irritated. But, perhaps to him, my assumption that he saw another choice is tantamount to my growing a 2nd head.

So this reminds me. Other options may be painfully obvious to me. But that doesn't mean they are to him. And for a variety of reasons. Perhaps this isn't a situation he's been in before. Perhaps he doesn't have the words to express what he wants to say. Perhaps his experience has taught him that the solution that seems so obvious and "perfect" to me won't work for him. Perhaps there is much more going on than the little bit I've seen. Perhaps he has another reason, one *I* can't see.

Regardless, my judgement about his choice being a "bad" one, isn't going to help matters. All I can do is be there to support him in the choice he is making. Gently offer him alternatives that I see, help him question his own assumptions (and do the same for my own). In the end, all I can do is allow him to make the choice. And then be there to help him process that choice. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today's Lesson: That's all we can do for any one. Just because we don't like, or don't agree, with someone else's decision, doesn't give us the right to make a judgement about them or that decision. We have no idea what led them to that decision. Perhaps we may see 18 other roads. They, however, may only see the one. It doesn't make them wrong, or us right. It is simply the different realities that we all live in. Because each of us sees different roads in front of us. It's a reminder we all need occasionally.


Motleymommy said...

Oh thank you so much for this reminder! I desperately needed it.

I blew up at my boy this am and in reading your post, that explains his blank stare at me. It also does not excuse my harping on him all the way into daycare....sigh. Shame on me!

Mary said...

What a great reminder!