I had a conversation with a friend who was bemoaning her parent’s flaws. This is a conversation we have often. So much so that she says, “I know, I know. They’re not going to change.” That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. If we just pay attention people will tell us exactly who they are and how they are going to operate in this world, regardless of your wishes. People can change, but they often won’t. It’s like asking your dog to meow. The crime is when we waste our energy waiting on them to change and even worse, griping about why they won’t.
I caught myself doing it a few minutes ago. It is pointless to waste time, brain cells and energy wondering why a person won’t do what you would do or what you want them to do. The best we can do is accept that they are who they are, and love them or let them go (my preference is to love them). It can be incredibly challenging to accept, especially when you have a vested interest. When it’s your family, spouse, parent of your child, best friend or someone who could positively impact your life but doesn’t, it becomes personal.
The problem with getting caught up in the “why not” and “how could they” is that we miss what they are bringing to the table. We may not be tuned into the blessing they are providing. I might sit as judge and jury and decide that you are not doing enough to satisfy other’s needs, or more likely, my own needs. Well, I guess the question is, who am I to make that determination? I guess it goes back to the famous quote about he who has no sin casting the first stone.
I am full of sin, wrongs, flaws (whatever you want to call it) so how can I judge someone else’s actions. It’s oh so tempting. Of course, I do get caught up in judging others. It’s something I’m working on. Instead of judging someone else as unfit, incompetent or lacking, it is my responsibility to look inward and see where I need improvement. It will take the rest of my life to make me a better person, which means I’ll have no time to fix or change anyone else.