Life, family, business

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What’s Your Opinion?

I can be a very opinionated person.  I have a very strong belief system and I defend my beliefs.   An opinion is simply a belief or view or judgment formed about something.  We all have them.  Some have more than others.

Every person is entitled to their own opinion about anything.  Here in the United States we have the freedom of speech, and we have the right to voice our opinions.  However, its important to remember that not everyone has the same opinion, and even though you can voice your opinion, I don’t have to listen.

What makes some people feel the need to express their opinion to people they barely know, with no invitation?  What makes these people think that their opinion means anything to people they don’t know?

This is one of the things I’ve been pondering over this Christmas holiday.  It seems like I meet one of these people every year or two.  But what makes a person act like this? I’m not talking about your outspoken friend talking to you, I’m talking about that person who has just met you, or is in your line at the store, or the person behind you in line at the buffet who makes unkind or rude comments about your choice of food.

The one theme I see in people like this is ignorance.  People who don’t take the time to learn about a situation and just try to judge others are very ignorant.  People who try to tell you what they think or believe without being invited into the conversation are rude, discourteous, and lacking manners.

I know I have acted this way as well, especially when I was younger.  Its something I try very hard not to do.  These rules are obviously not for close friends, they are my rules for meeting new people and talking to people you don’t know well:

NEVER insert your opinion where its not wanted. How do you know if it’s wanted?  The person will ask you for it if they want it. If they don’t ask, keep your yap shut.

NEVER criticize other adults for their choices.  Its not your life, you don’t get to choose for anyone except yourself.  If you don’t like the way someone else did it, then don’t do it that way yourself, and keep your yap shut.

And lastly, you can judge people all you want in your head, but keep your yap shut.  Karma is a bitch. You reap what you sow.  Once you start judging others out loud, you will become the target of those who will judge you as harshly as you judge others.

I can tell you from experience that when you try to insert your opinion into someone else’s life, they generally aren’t going to like it, especially if it doesn’t agree with theirs.  When people do any of these things to me, or breaks my rules, it creates an instant dislike of that person.  Is this me judging?  Yes, it is.  As an adult, I get to decide who my friends are, and who I talk to.  There are so many negative people in this world, I try my hardest to make sure I don’t add any of them into my  circle of friends, or even my list of acquaintances.

Since I have started choosing the people I allow into my life more carefully, I have become a much happier person.  I surround myself with people who are also tolerant, loving, and peaceful.  I reject those who are abrasive, self-serving, or disrespectful of my life’s beliefs.  Every one of us gets to choose who we let in; respect yourself and make purposeful choices.

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Random Acts of Kindness

This post is inspired once again by something asked of the participants at kickboxing class.  Our instructor, Amy, asked each of us to tell of a random act of kindness done to us, or done by us.  There were some really great comments, and things that people have done for other people.  One lady had even bought another person’s groceries when they didn’t have enough money at the  checkout line.  We were also then asked to think about what we could do for someone else this week.

This led me to think about what I could do that is out of the ordinary.  I do hold the door for people, I help people carry things that are too heavy for them, or if they have more items than they can carry, at the store where I work.  But that’s just customer service.

While shopping, when I go to get a cart, if there is someone with small children or an older person, I will give them a cart and get another for myself.  I will reach things on the top shelf for people who are shorter than me, because I can reach the top shelf and they can’t.  I also try to always have a smile on my face, and I really try hard to never talk on my cell phone while the clerk is checking out my items.  But that’s just good manners.

What can I do that’s out of the ordinary for me?

But this thinking also made me think about how sometimes, the one who needs the biggest act of kindness is our self.

I think most of the time, I am my biggest critic, and I think this is true for most people.  We are too hard on ourselves when we make a mistake, even though we know that everyone makes mistakes.  We find it hard to forgive ourselves, even though we would forgive anyone else who did the same thing in a second.  We expect perfection from ourselves, even though we know no one is perfect.

So perhaps, one of the random acts of kindness I should do, is not to berate myself for getting behind on my paperwork.  Maybe I should walk by the sink full of dishes and go for a walk on a nice day.  The dishes will still be there when I get back! (Unless my dear husband does them, which he does on a regular basis.)

Speaking of Dear Husband, its his birthday on Thursday.  Maybe my random act of kindness will be to have an extra piece of cheesecake with our birthday dinner!  But what I’ll do for someone else, I will keep thinking.  I believe that if I ask The Universe (God) for this opportunity, it will be provided.   I’ll get back to you on what happens.

What are random acts of kindness you have experienced in your life? (Either given or gotten?)  I would love to hear about them in the comment section!