In today’s society, people are becoming more and more self-righteous. This isn’t always a bad thing. For example, I am proud that women are feeling more empowered and that people are loving who they want to love, despite what others say. I am thrilled to be a part of this generation of great social progress.
However, coupled with this self-righteousness, I’ve seen more selfishness in people, myself included. We think we are owed these great opportunities. We deserve to have all the best. We are entitled to only have people in our lives that do us good and everyone else should be shunned. Although I whole-heartedly believe that everyone deserves the best, I think we need a reminder that we can’t just expect it to be handed to us. In our quest to get what we want, I’m worried we’re shutting others out because of a mistake, or merely over something we don’t agree with.
Why do we do this? The barista at Starbucks accidentally gives you the wrong drink or forgets to add an espresso shot and suddenly she’s dead to you. We demand that our professors give us good grades because we feel we deserve a perfect GPA, when in reality we only put an average amount of effort into the class. Again, why do we do this?
Why do we feel that we deserve more than the next person? Walking through campus (and even in high school) you hear people fighting and throwing out the f-bomb at others. Do you really think that person is so much lower than you that they deserve to be yelled and cursed at?
I’m not writing this article as a lecture. I feel like I’ve noticed a problem and I want to try and help fix it. I know I’m guilty of many of these things. When someone rubs me the wrong way, sometimes it’s hard to get past it. Sometimes it’s easier to write them off as a jerk and give them the cold shoulder instead of realizing that everyone makes mistakes, and just like I would want to be forgiven, they should be, too. I always loved The Golden Rule.
I have three sisters, and growing up, we got into plenty of fights. Whether we had been yelling at, or sometimes even hitting each other (sorry, Kels), my parents would always make us apologize and more importantly, mean it. Our apologies were followed by hugs and “I love you”s. Back then it seemed like an annoyance; I can remember rolling my eyes, as I’d have to hug my sister and apologize for yelling at her. She deserved it! She had tried to hang out with me and my friends! But looking back, I can see how important it was to apologize. If we could all just learn to forgive others for things that really don’t matter, and even for the things that do, I think we would all be happier.
“I forgive you.” Sometimes it is just so hard to say those three simple words and mean them. What we need to think about is, does denying someone forgiveness really make you feel better? Does it really justify their actions? I guess I don’t know. Everyone needs to decide for themselves if they’d rather go on with hate in their hearts instead of love. I think I’m going to go with the latter.
I know there are a lot of things that may be unforgivable, or at least might take a little longer to get over. However, we should stop putting so much thought onto these little things. People are going to hurt us and we’re going to hurt others — it’s the inevitable truth. The important thing is how we react.
If we spend more time accepting and moving on from our problems than we do bottling them up inside and holding grudges, we’d have more time for the important things, like having fun with our friends, or playing with puppies. After all, you wear a smile better than a frown any day.
If we could apologize when we’ve done wrong and forgive when wrong has been done to us, life would be so much simpler.
“You can’t solve a problem by staying in the same energy in which it was created.” – Albert Einstein