Sunday, September 13, 2009
“I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them.” ~ Herbert Henry Lehman
A few days ago, a friend sent me a note with the following sentence: “I wish for you what you wish for yourself.” I immediately liked it, but it was only after I thought about it for a while that I realized how truly profound those few words are.
Many times, while wishing someone something, or while praying for other people, we tend to customize the wishes we have according to what we believe it is best for them.
In reality, nobody can really know what is right or wrong for someone else. Each person lives a unique life, and is the product of a unique pattern of circumstances. Even if we have seen a similar pattern before in someone else, all it takes is one small difference in the type of personality or in the way the person internalizes information, to dramatically change how certain events will affect this individual’s life compared to others who have walked in those very same shoes before.
When we can accept that each person has a different path to walk, we enable ourselves to love them unconditionally, and to wish them well for their greater good, without making any assumptions. What we believe to be their greater good, might in fact not be good for them at all, and could hinder their growth.
Each person has different things to learn, and by being free to follow the course of action they have mapped for themselves, they are able to fail or succeed – either way, they will assimilate what they must.
It is easy to worry about a friend or a loved one if they are walking down a path we perceive as negative, but it would be more helpful to them if we could just focus on sending them unconditional love and support to accompany them on their journey, rather than charting a new route for them which is only fit for us.
Some people need a detour before they can reach their destination, and their timing might be different than ours, but in the end not one path is necessarily wrong – just different and specifically customized for the individual’s life experience.
We can control what happens in our own lives, to some extent, but laying claim on the destiny and the choices of others – especially when our flow of love is directly proportional to their decisions – hinders the growth of all.
Live your life and love unconditionally. And when the urge of judging the actions and choices of another surges, it’s important to remember that we are only human - limited sight and arrogance can only cloud our better judgment.