December 9, 2016

Love and displaying your true character


I am pained by the way we communicate as a society. Attacking someone else for their views, opinions, or beliefs seem to be the new normal. This doesn’t make it acceptable, it just seems to be the way things are done. When someone is challenged for being attacking, rude, or disrespectful, it is often justified because someone else did it first, does it the most, or whatever. Welcome back to first grade.

Have we really stooped that low as a society where we justify our behaviors not by the standards we believe in but by the poor example set by someone else?

Instead of acting like someone else, start behaving, communicating, and interacting in a manner that you have defined as appropriate for rational, intelligent, respectful society – hopefully that is your personal standard for you! Attacking accomplishes nothing. When you do it, your true character is revealed. If you believe it is ever okay to show disrespect for others in how you treat them, that is fine. Please don’t try to present yourself as anything other than a disrespectful, abusive, close minded person and then blame it on someone else because of the way they treated you.

If you do it, you are it!

That is not how it works. Who you are is what others see, what you show, and how your behaviors are displayed. Sorry, you cannot behave or communicate with disrespect or disregard for the other person, even if you passionately disagree with them and then call yourself righteous later. You are what we see. You are what is displayed.

I love dialogue that involves the ability to passionately share what I believe even in disagreement. My passion is to learn to understand the other person’s point of view, even if I am not at all comfortable with it. However, the minute it becomes disrespectful, close minded, judgmental, hateful, or rude, there is no learning opportunity for anyone. The moment there is the notion of one’s opinion being right and another’s wrong, there is no room for solving a problem or fixing a problem.

My rules for engagement are quite simple. I love learning from others and about them. I enjoy discovering why they believe and think what they do. I rely on healthy interactions to create dialogue for solving problems that meet mutually agreed to outcomes. Most everyone desires the same thing – happiness, peace, contentment, financial security, appreciation, affirmation, and love. Since we all agree we desire these things, it is my mission to figure out how to create an environment that helps others find what they are looking for, even those who I may not philosophically agree with.

If my conversation with them turns to a behavior that reflects an opinion they are stupid, wrong, lazy, misinformed, or some other judgemental label, I have created no space to learn from them, for them to trust me, or to engage in dialogue for solving the problem before us.

Go forward. Be who you are. Be happy where you are. Treat others as you would have them treat you; not as they have treated you. Allow for the differences between us to be a place of learning for each of us. Find a way to discover a solution to a problem, not prove how right you are. Love others in all you do and say. Peace.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.