As humans, we mess up. We say things that are offensive, we hurt the people we love and we make mistakes. Life is messy. It is complicated and painful.
But what are your intentions? Revenge and spite can dictate our behavior as we use our words and actions to inflict pain. I don’t understand this reasoning. How can we derive joy from hurt? Or is that in anger we don’t think about the repercussions? Does that mean our instinctive nature is to cause pain?
We start out in this world seeking to satisfy our own selfish desires. One of the most common words you’ll hear a toddler shout out is “MINE” as they clutch on to the toy captivating their attention for that fleeting moment.
What’s so beautiful about life, however, is watching them learn empathy and love. At a recent gathering at my home, one of my Aunts handed my nephew his 2nd piece of candy as his parents watched anxiously, fearing the imminent presence of a 2 year old on a sugar rush. The toddler came running over grinning from ear to ear proudly showing off his already half eaten prize. His dad asked if he (the dad) could eat the rest of the candy, and at that moment, I watched the 2 year old look at his candy bar and then look back up earnestly at his dad contemplating his decision. He then placed it in his dad’s hands saying “You can have, daddy.”
That moment struck me, because I was able to witness a toddler fight against his innate instinct to please his own desires and show empathy for his dad as he shared his last piece of candy.
As adults, we have this same struggle. It’s easy to get in a circle with your friends and gossip over everyone else’s misfortune. It’s easy to cast judgment from our own high thrones. People so often say, I’m not going to change who I am because “I speak my mind” or I’m a bitch and that’s just who I am. It’s easy to be a mean girl. It takes strength to rise above that and have love and empathy for others.
But even through it all, we’ll still mess up. We’ll still be selfish and arrogant. We’ll make mistakes and hurt the people around us. But we can only hope we all go forward with pure intentions and those who love us will forgive us, as we forgive them.