Your Terms of Enragement

Your belief in right and wrong, good and bad, best and better and your ability to distinguish one concept from the other is likely a very honorable system of judgment. Your beliefs illustrate for you what might be described as ideal behavior. Like you, however, people don’t always behave ideally. That does not mean you should compromise your belief that people have a great deal of potential to behave more effectively. It does mean that you can make better choices in how you encounter weakness in others. Simply because people don’t behave ideally does not mean they are bad or hopelessly flawed. It simply means that people are not always willing to cooperate with you. That in itself does not render them irredeemable. Hold on to your honorable beliefs about ideal behavior. Do your best to express your honorable beliefs in your own behavior. Remember, however, people don’t always live by your expectations of them. In fact, you, yourself, don’t always live up to the expectations you have of others.

We all fail on some level.

Everyone has a perfect right to behave foolishly. And they often exercise that perfect right. No one HAS TO treat you respectfully, honestly, favorably or kindly. You do not NEED people to be considerate, empathetic, thoughtful, intelligent, selfless or brave. People can just as well choose to be inconsiderate, uncaring, thoughtless, foolish, selfish and cowardly. And you can live happily in a world where they do – right alongside them. Maybe not as perfectly as you could if everything went as you planned. You could experience, instead, a different kind of happy – a more rational happy, one that includes such things as sadness (that people behave that way) and forgiveness (for human failure and weakness).

One thing is for sure; your expectations of others are NOT laws, edicts or regulations. If they were, we would all be in prison. Your expectations are your terms for enragement. If you want to make your thinking and emotions more flexible, begin by modifying your terms for interacting with others. I am not suggesting that you celebrate the weaknesses of others and congratulate them for showing you their failings (although you could). I am asking you, however, to recognize that those weaknesses exist in everyone, including yourself, in contrast to your expectations. Knowing that fact in advance will make encountering weakness in others (and yourself) more manageable. People often behave contrary to your wishes. Their behavior, regardless, is not NECESSARY for your continued happiness.

If you are appreciative of this message, you may have had to stop and wonder – to think twice – about it – once foolishly, “What kind of shit is this?” and the second in a more rational, reasoned and balanced way, resulting in a more self-enhancing outcome. “You are right! I don’t need complete cooperation from others in order to find happiness in my day. I can live happily even when people don’t cooperate with my demands on their behavior,” or “People don’t have to behave the way I want them to behave. They can act foolishly. They have a perfect right to behave any way they want. I will never like it that people are so irresponsible with one another, but I can still be happy in my life even when they behave in ways that I don’t like.”


8 responses

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