When you and I affirm other people, we’re doing something incredible. We are showing love. We’re letting people know they matter. We’re letting people know that we care about them.
Archives For Personal growth
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 27:12
This verse introduces us to two types of people – the prudent and the simple. In other places in the book of Proverbs these two companions are referred to as “wise” and “naive.” It’s interesting to note that both start off on the same path and both “see danger” but they respond very differently. As a result of their responses they experience two very different outcomes.
Everybody blows it. We all make mistakes. This means: “I’m not perfect. I don’t bat 1000. I don’t measure up to God’s standard. I don’t even measure up to my own standards. I disappoint myself a lot of the times.”
So because we’re all imperfect, we’re going to hurt other people and other people are going to hurt us in life: intentionally and unintentionally. What’s more important is this: What do we do with that hurt?
What we do with it is more important than the hurt. Are we going to allow it to make us better? Or are we going to allow it to make us bitter, resentful, and carry a grudge?
Now often, it’s not the big things in life that make us resentful. Those can obviously and they do but it’s also a lot of little things that just pile up. And a lot of little things can break the camel’s back. So we get irritated. And those irritations when we hold on to them turn into resentment.
We need people in our lives. We need people who care about us and love us. Spending meaningful time with people who care about us and love us is indispensable to our growth – to our flourishing. Social researcher Robert Putnam writes:
“The single most common finding from a half-century’s research on life satisfaction, not only in the U.S. but around the world, is that happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one’s social connections.”
The F word that I am going to be discussing here is probably not the F word that first came to your mind. The F word is FEAR. Fear is what stops dreams from becoming realities. Fear is what stops good ideas from becoming implemented. Fear is a very powerful emotion that is ingrained deeply in a lot of us (if not all of us.)
It has been ingrained in us because the media loves to glamorize the downfalls of others (and deep down we have a fascination with seeing others fail too – some more than others). And it’s our fascination with seeing others fail that keeps the media sharing it. If it didn’t draw ratings, they wouldn’t bother sharing it, right?
I think this is partly due to the fact that it reinforces within us this false idea that it is crazy and futile to challenge the status quo. So why bother, right? Nobody wants to be labeled a failure and nobody wants to be on the front page of the newspaper or on CNN being called a failure. So we have this vicious cycle. Fear is ingrained in us, it is reinforced through the media and it is further ingrained in us.
Michael Jordan once said in a Nike commercial:
“I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”