Two men were sitting in the brush in some foreign country. They were watching some natives go about their business. Both men were aware that the natives knew they were there, and they were trying to analyze what the natives were going to do next.
The first man said to the person with him, "They're going to attack!" He quickly pulled out the revolver and prepared himself.
The other man said, "They're friendly. They won't hurt us." He then sat down by a tree and waited.
At that moment, the natives came through the bushes and attacked the man who had his revolver out. He ended up being overwhelmed by numbers and killed.
The other man was slowly approached, and he and the natives quickly became friends.
In my mind, the natives had seen the man pull out his gun and deemed him a threat. He caused his own expectations by preparing for them to be aggressive.
The other man had seen the good in the tribe. He waited, and the people of the country decided he was not a threat. His expectations were also fulfilled by his actions.
Why was I thinking about this?
When you meet someone new, a lot of times we decide they are going to be a certain way. If a friend is introducing you to a new friend and they've told you all sorts of wonderful things about the person, you probably are going to have good expectations for this new friend. If we are looking for the best in others, we are going to find good things about them. It is easy to find a quality that you admire or love in another person if that is what you are expecting out of them.
On the other hand, if the whole office has been gossiping negatively about the new kid, you are likely to have poor expectations when you meet them, and because none of us are perfect, it is also equally easy to find terrible qualities in every person we meet.
When Christ was on the earth, he knew that every person he met was a sinner, but he loved them all anyway. He was able to past the sin and love the sinner.
This policy of looking for the best in others nearly always works, unless you are looking for perfection.
While I was on my mission for the LDS church, I had a companion who was dealing with some issues when she came to live with me. She had kind of met me before, and had heard of me, and for some reason she thought that by living with me, all of her problems would be solved. Things went great for about a week, until she realized that her problems weren't going away and I wasn't perfect.
Therefore, she decided that it must be my fault and she didn't like me anymore.
I loved her though, and that really bothered her. She could be very hurtful and angry at times, and I couldn't understand why. It took me a while, but finally I realized that the reason it upset her that I loved her was because she didn't like herself very much. When you don't like yourself, it's hard to realize that others can love you. It's also very hard to like others.
Since then, she has dealt wonderfully with the things that were bothering her and has matured into a beautiful, wonderful woman. She was always wonderful, but I think she has really started to see that now.
Expect the best in others, but don't expect them to solve your problems or to be perfect. I often find that when others annoy me, it's because they reflect a quality of myself that I don't like very much. Once I figure that out, it's easy for me to put those petty annoyances aside and enjoy the person in front of me. The golden rule still lives. Treat others as you want to be treated. If you want other to nitpick everything that's wrong with you, by all means, do it to everyone you meet.
However, if you want them to love you as God would, do the same for them. I have felt a bit of his love that he feels for His children, and I can tell you that the feeling is overwhelming.
The Lord loves each of us more than we can possibly understand. Life can be rough and bad things can happen, but everything that occurs if for our benefit. As we grow and learn from each trial, we mature into the beautiful creature that God always intended for us to be. I wrote a blog a while ago about why bad things happen to good people, if you want to read it, the link is right here.
One of my favorite sayings goes, "The Lord loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay that way."
The Lord can see the potential in each of us. I pray that we can also see the potential in each other.
|Kevin fell asleep on Grig's shoulder. Cute picture!|