I am a big proponent of loving people. In my experience (and a lot of data backs it up elsewhere, too) you can have a much more positive effect on people by caring about them and showing them kindness than any alternative. Growing up, my mother often guided me with the proverb of “You get more with honey than you do with vinegar.” I’ve tried many methods for dealing with people, and time has shown me love is the way to go. This is, of course, difficult. Especially when the people in question act like jerks.
I recently found myself in a situation where I was trying to explain this idea of loving to promote change and help, rather than just being angry and yelling at them. I was trying to be kind while someone else was being less than such. I actually found myself slowly pulled towards their mean tactics over the very ideas I was trying to impart.
I’m thankful that I had a chance to at least see this happening. I was able to change my attitude and attempt to return to practicing what I was preaching. After all, if I thought love was the answer, but was then not USING that answer in my life, how much could I claim to truly believe it?
I’m hopeful that my attempts to be kind helped the people I was speaking to. Even if they didn’t, though, I’m convinced it did me far better to act that way than hold onto bitterness and try to “win” some meaningless argument. And at the end of the day, the only person you get to have control over is yourself. I’m glad I made the right call.
It really pays to take a look at your life and consider if the way you act is the way you truly want to act. Also, while you’re at it, if how you’re acting is the way you suggest others act. Remember even though others can pull at you and try to get you to join them in their way, only you can make the final call for you. After you say your piece they may still disagree. If you do your best but then walk away, it may seem like they “win” the argument. That’s okay, you’ll leave feeling far better because you did the right thing. Your actions reflected the way you chose to live.