Just be one


“Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.”
Marcus Aurelius

Often, we find it much easier to talk about what a good person should be as well as point out those who don’t measure up, rather than focus on ourselves and our own steps towards becoming that person. It’s surprising too, when we notice how much time is spent discussing the shortcomings of others. Not only does today’s quote help us focus on being a person we feel good about, it prevents us from wasting a lot time and energy literally reinforcing thoughts and feelings of dissatisfaction.

On a personal note, even more detrimental to me, is when I notice my desire to hear and talk about, not just the shortcomings of someone I don’t like, but also their failures. I have noticed this tendency in myself and reflected upon my motivation. Often, it seems to come down to validating my own views, assumptions and belief system. If things don’t work out for the people I don’t agree with, it somehow seems put my opinions on firmer ground. This is very different than simply noting and learning from the mistakes and challenges of others. Instead of truly feeling compassion for them, there is a bit of self-justification that feels good. I can take a little pleasure in their suffering and promote my own superior position. This type of activity can only come from a place of personal insecurity and fear within myself. When I am comfortable with myself and am living a meaningful life, this tendency does not arise.

When I am truly comfortable with myself, I need not compete with others and can take joy in their successes and have empathy for their struggles. I can remember that there are over 7 billion other humans trying to find their way, get their needs met, and find some happiness. Just like me, they have their struggles, challenges and concerns. I am not threatened by their views and can be open to learning from and with them – both through their mistakes and their successes. Most of all, it is a much better use of my time to actually be the person I value, than to gossip about the perceived shortcomings of others. I have enough of my own to work on.

I invite you to be attentive to how you talk about others. Does the desire to talk about others arise? What is your motive? Would it be beneficial? – John Bruna

MLP Community 1The above is a an excerpt from one the daily emails sent to the members of the Mindful Life Community. I invite you to explore our community and consider joining.

Copyright © 2016 John Bruna. All rights reserved.

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