Doing their best?
And here is a disturbing question from Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong: "Do you really believe - in your heart - that people are doing the best they can?"
The author was confronted with this question of herself, so she decided to ask it of others as well. There were those who answered yes - that they believe that others are doing the best that they can. They often felt naive saying it, but they "couldn't give up" on the idea that people are doing the best that they can. Others, who responded with a resounding "NO!" often sited the idea that they knew that they were not doing the best that they could, so they assumed that others were not, as well. They judged themselves harshly, and so they judged others harshly, too. Those who answered "no" often struggled with perfectionism. Those who answered "yes" were often people who were willing to be vulnerable and who believed in their self-worth.
And then the last person she asked, her husband, said something that struck me as truth:
"I don't know. I really don't. All i know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. it keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be."
Do you believe that people are doing the best that they can? I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that when I think about those people who I believe are not doing the best they can, I focus on their failings. I see them with eyes that judge. My life is probably happier and more joyful when I choose to believe that people are doing their best.
I wonder if that is part of what God means when God tells us to love each other.
Labels: Brown Rising