Thursday, January 22, 2015

High Expectations

By high expectations, I don't mean having expectations of people that can't be lived up to. Or expecting more of others than of yourself. I simply mean that, maybe, if we believed the best in others, the best would come out more often.

We have heard for many years the subconscious influence that parents and teachers can have on children. That is to say, children of differing levels of intelligence, differing genders or differing races may pick up on cues that adults don't even know they are giving off. It is unfortunate, because it leads to the further continuation of stereotypes and categorization.

Another, less known, example is brought up by a man named David Kish. I recently heard a podcast about him and read this article for more information. Kish is a man who has been blind since the age of one. His mother, despite her fears, allowed him to become independent by using echolocation. Now a grown adult, Kish has made accomplishments that many would never expect of a blind man, namely being able to do essentially everything that a non-blind person can do. He has an organization that attempts to get the blind communities believing that they CAN lead normal lives. 

The point being that maybe we are just like the children and the blind. Maybe we are less than we could be because of what we (and others) believe about ourselves. Maybe because we assume the worst about others, they behave in like. 

In my short time being married, I have learned this lesson (although I certainly haven't perfected it). When one of us does something that upsets the other, if we automatically assume motive as to why, it makes for much more frustration and hurt. However, if instead we assume that there was some misunderstanding or miscommunication, it leaves far less sting and allows us to move forward without hurt. In the same way, we have found that it is simply best to believe that both of us are trying our hardest to please each other. Just believing that allows us to love each other better.

photo by Melissa Dondero

So next time someone does something you don't like or don't understand, don't automatically assume the worst. Don't assign motives to their actions. Try putting yourself in their shoes; try showing compassion. So often we are limited by ourselves, by stereotypes and assumptions. Our Heavenly Father has no such limitations on what we can do. In fact, when we read what He expects of us in the Bible, He believes the very best of us. If anyone should believe the worst, shouldn't it be the One who knows our hearts?  

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