Thursday, August 18, 2005

The hardest time to be gentle is when we know we are
right and someone else is obviously dead wrong.

I personally can't tell you the last time this statement was true. First of all, I've rarely known someone to be "dead wrong." Almost completely wrong, but rarely "dead wrong." Second, the majority of my family and friends will tell you that I either (1) think I'm right most of the time or (2) know that I'm right most of the time [smile].

As a parent of a seven-year-old and 22-month-old triplets, I do, however, know first hand the feelings of knowing that what the child is about to do is probably going to end up in an "owie" and a few tears, but is not dangerous to their well-being. I can't tell you how many times I've already heard my seven-year-old son Leo tell me, "I know, Dad, I know... but just let me do it..." And I know that there are times I just have to let events take their course and let lessons be learned. And, in fact, to also be surprised when an expected outcome doesn't occur.

It seems that many of us [are you one of us?] have a difficult time staying silent when we think or know another is wrong - and it's usually born out of two fears of being hurt. If we know another is wrong and it is something that could be painful or fatal to that person or others, we would rather speak up than see anyone hurt. But it seems the overwhelming situations of our conflicts tend to fall into the second category: we speak up because whatever the other person espouses is something that calls into question our own belief or value system; it may very well smack up against all the we believe in and hold true.

I often tell my son Leo, "Be gentle with the babies (triplets)," as sometimes he gets excited and plays a little too rough. He's not doing anything wrong, but getting caught up in the moment and forgetting who he is and with whom he is interacting. And the same thing may very well go for each of us. When we think and know we are right (or at the very least, the other person is dead wrong), it is then that we need to be our most gentlest of self. This is a lesson I often forget - sorry to friends and family for this lesson forgotten on more than just a few occasions.

Sometimes (within those realms when no one is fatally at risk) we - regardless of belief or value - need to be still and be silent. Sometimes our simple example can speak volumes over all the debate and conflict we choose to have with others. We need to let events take their course and let lessons be learned. And sometimes, just sometimes, we will also be surprised when what we think to be an expected outcome doesn't occur.

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