Yep ... all God's creatures have a voice in the choir... those are lyrics from a children's song that my two DillyDallys would play over and over again. I loved (still do) that song and the message that it brings into the hearts of those who sing along.
Life can be so difficult ... and unfair. Over the past month or so ...
storms have been brewing in the hearts of many bloggers. I have tried ignoring the pain expressed by both those who say unkind things and those hurt by their unkindness. Today while reading one of my favorite quilt blogs, her hurt and sadness was too much for me and I decided that I had to say something.
Now, I recognize that this is a very humble blog, with few followers ... I know that it won't be read by many ... and that little I say can change much of anything ... but if I can bring comfort or understanding to only one heart ... then my efforts are worth it.
Those who know me now, have no idea that I'm a recovering perfectionist. I believed that if I could just be perfect enough, every area of my life would be smooth ... you see, perfectionists don't like wrinkles. Guess what? Life is severely wrinkled, and no amount of perfectionism can iron them out! ;-) Perfectionists fail because no matter how hard they try, wrinkles remain. Perfectionism is an effort to control, and the truth is, life and those in our lives cannot be controlled.
I am a fan or Stephen Covey's book, 7 Habits for Highly Effective People. In Habit 4, "Think Win/Win", he explains why this habit is so difficult for most people to adopt. He calls it the "Twin Tumors", they are a cancer that can grow in our hearts and prevent us from reaching our potential. The tumors are compete and compare. When we make things competitive and/or compare ourselves to others ... we will always feel insignificant ... there will always be someone, somewhere who can do it better. Feeling less than someone else usually brings out the worst in us ... we lean towards being judgmental, critical, and often take it out on others by behaving in a way that is hurtful. Covey suggests that when we learn to acknowledge our weaknesses and develop our talents, we are free to appreciate and encourage the talents of others. I often tell my students, "If you did your best, you've won." Thinking Win/Win allows us to find value in the talents of everyone ... including ourselves.
The only thing we can control is our own behavior. My grandmother often said, "There is no excuse for rudeness." Being a very independent thinking child, I would create scenarios to test her theory. She would listen, then patiently explain why rudeness was an inappropriate response under those circumstances. Gosh, I would try to outwit her on this, but never succeeded. One of my favorite bloggers ends her posts with, "Be Kind." Two very simple, yet extremely powerful words. The truth is ... being kind is a choice that I have never regretted. But I am filled with remorse for every time I chose to be unkind.
Most of us were raised to live by the golden rule ... "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." and "Love one another". Rules are never easy to live by ... but we can love people even in those moments when we don't like them very much! ;-)
The world is not a perfect place ... and neither are those of us who inhabit it. Accepting others and ourselves where we are on this journey called life allows us to focus on what is most important. Live loudly ... we all have a "voice in the choir"! Even me ... although singing is not one of my talents ... I sound like a cross between a frog and a crow! Honestly ... it's bad! And I'm ok with that! ;-)
March forward! Do dillydally!