What started out as sheer annoyance with a family member last night has turned into this mushy desire to get involved.
Have you ever known somebody that has an answer for everything, even if it’s the wrong answer? That’s my cuz.
Last night, he was being pretty nasty to his wife and kids and I’d had all I could stand.
He snapped at his daughter, “Stop being an idiot and don’t cry if you wreck. Crying’s for sissies.”
She walked by me with her tear streaked face and I couldn’t sit in silence.
Too often I sit in silence when people are being borderline ugly to each other, so I spoke up. “You’re NOT an idiot and it’s PERFECTLY okay to cry if you get hurt.”
Later on, he and I were talking about parenting and I urged him, “Don’t call your kids idiots. You’ve got to build them up. You’ve got to tell them they’re strong. They’re going to grow up having such low self esteems and then they’ll turn to mean men for validation.”
He sputtered some nonsense back at me. I asked him, not out of meanness but out of curiosity, “Did your parents call you an idiot?” His eyes seemed to soften as he shared with me the list of worse names he was called.
The thing is, all names are bad names and I would argue that being called idiot your whole life is just as hurtful as being called a mother fucker. (I’m not slamming his parents. I’m sure if I asked them, they’d have similar stories to share about their childhood. We ALL make mistakes as parents and my kids will happily list off every single time I’ve been hateful and completely lost it…but, I digress.)
I was SO frustrated with him last night that I wanted to hit him with Lorraine (his belt) but this morning, I really want the opportunity to sit down and tell him there’s a better way than all of that stress and anger that he’s currently carrying around. I want to say, “Trust me. This works. You can be happier. I WANT you to be happy. I love you all. Please give me a chance to share.” (This side of the family isn’t mushy at all and this would totally freak them out. I’d probably get shunned.)
I don’t know that I’ll ever get the chance to share with him but for some reason (and thank you for doing so) YOU are reading this and I CAN share it with YOU.
The What One Person Can Do conversation is a life changer. I know this because it changed mine. It not only helped me see that I’m capable of doing tasks that I once found hard or overwhelming, but it helped me through one of the hardest times in my life, being separated from my husband; and it’s been extremely useful in reconciling. I use what I learned on a DAILY basis to help my day go more smoothly and to love on the people around me.
If I could give you one gift, it would be this conversation/program. Give it a chance. If you’re struggling with anger, overwhelm, depression, stress or you’re worried about someone you love who’s struggling, GO THROUGH THE PROGRAM. You’ll feel more peace in dealing with your own set of rough circumstances or in being there for your friends and family.
It’s a conversation for ALL people because it’s about the basics of being a person. It’s not rocket science. It’s not information that’s not also being shared in other places, but it’s been put together in such a way that you’re not just learning about it, you’re experiencing it and it’s useful all day every day.
This program needs more exposure. Look at it. Go through it but don’t stop there. Figure out how to share it with people you care about: your immediate family, your church, your schools, your prisons, your community. Get in touch with Bill Cumming, the program’s founder and ask him to come speak at one of those places. Ask him to work with your family. Ask me to. I tend to defer to Bill because he’s been at this for 30 years and I’m new at it, but if he’s busy, ask me 😉
The more people that understand their own value, the less damage we’ll all do to each other and the less damage we’ll all have to deal with in the form of road rage, broken homes, drugs, rape, murder, corrupt corporations and governments. No, we can’t fix all the world’s problems or all the broken people, but we can do our part to make our little corner a nicer place to be.
“Sometimes you need to believe in people, even if the cost seems too high. Because the real cost of not believing in people is huge.” -Chris Morris
Don’t put this off. Your world needs a joyful, peace filled YOU!
I’ve included Bill’s Tedx Talk below so you can “meet” him.