I got such an amazing response to my soap box about going against the grain. Daniel encouraged me to write a little follow-up, and I thought it was a great idea. All sorts of people responded to what I had to say. I was fascinated by the words of advice, and differences in perspective. I love it!
To keep it short and sweet, I’m going to get to the point.
I noticed one commonality when I reviewed all the comments, personal messages, etc. No matter what lifestyle, no matter what choices each individual family unit had made, they could all identify to some degree with the negative impact of scrutiny and judgement. Even people I know and love who have a more traditional lifestyle had been put under the magnifying glass for their choices.
My conclusion in all of this was in no way earth shattering or revolutionary. It only reaffirmed how much we as a people put so much emphasis on comparison and pride, and forget God-like features like humility, kindness, and empathy.
There are so many things that are worth putting emphasis into when we are around other people. I don’t think pointing out whether they eat Horizon versus Market Pantry is one of them. Rather, take a step back and be grateful that they are sharing their food with you. Forget your urge to educate them on the risks of letting a child cry it out, and emphasize how much you wish them all restful nights.
Put aside what you know, your need to let everyone know what you know, and remember what all of our goals should be with the people around us. To encourage, to listen, and to offer loving advice when it’s requested. And remember that you don’t offer advice expecting it to be taken. Taking things personal is no fun. No, you offer advice because someone wants to know what you think, and you hope your opinions help them get through life. That’s the extent of what advice is for.
I’m not even kidding when I confess this following thing. Any time I’m in a situation where there is tension or awkwardness, I seriously hum this song internally. So have a listen, and do a little jig if you feel like it.
Here’s to loving, encouraging, and appreciating differences because they make life interesting!