Different people have different perception. One man's meat could be another man's poison. Here’s a story to illustrate it: A couple bought a donkey from the market. On the way home, a boy commented, "Very stupid. Why neither of them rides on the donkey?” Upon hearing that, the husband let the wife ride on the donkey. He walked besides them. Later, an old man saw it and commented, "The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride on the donkey while the husband is on foot?" Hearing this, the wife quickly got down and let the husband ride on the donkey. Further on the way home, they met an old Lady. She commented, "How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk. He is no gentleman." The husband thus quickly asked the wife to join him on the donkey. Then, they met a young man. He commented, "Poor donkey, how can you hold up the weight of two persons. They are cruel to you." Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climbed down from the donkey and carried it on their shoulders. It seems to be the only choice left. Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey was frightened and struggled. They lost their balance and fell into the river.
You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future. Thus, do not be too bothered by others' words if our conscience is clear. And having this kind of standpoint ensures the needed stability in one’s standing in the midst of differing opinions. Moreover, it is what will provide the needed shield against personal insecurity.
Whether we like it or not, people will freely speak their mind to whatever they see that triggers it. They will always have something to say even if they don’t need to. And this should be expected as normal part of everyday living. It might not be personally against you but they might just be stating a quick and hasty opinion at the moment.
However, having such an atmosphere creates the dynamic of dialogue towards positive or negative results. No matter what the outcome, it will always lead towards favorable or unfavorable actions to both sides. We see it everyday in all aspects of family, political and elsewhere. But the most important thing to watch out is our response to the critical perceptions directed against us.
After all - it's just how you look at things. Here’s another illustration to clarify it: “A man was driving in the country one day and he saw an old man sitting on a fence rail watching the cars go by. Stopping to pass the time of day, the traveler said, "I never could stand living out here. You don't see anything, and I'm sure you don't travel like I do. I'm on the go all the time. The old man on the fence looked down at the stranger and drawled, "I can't see much difference in what I'm doing and what you're doing. I sit on the fence and watch the autos go by and you sit in your auto and watch the fences go by. It's just the way you look at things."
Choosing to see the better view of things and situations will provide an opportunity to do great things about it. While choosing to see the unpleasant will drastically reduce enthusiasm and lead to despair. The same principle goes with people perception; personal opinion should be delayed long enough for the right information about the person is gained. In doing so, prejudgment will be radically avoided.
But always get the right perspective of things. Here’s an example: When Goliath came against the Israelites, the soldiers all thought, "He's so big we can never kill him." But when David looked at the same giant and thought, "He's so big I can't miss." Life’s challenges should not become obstacles. Why? It is because challenges when seen by an optimist become a stepping-stone towards greater things while obstacles when seen by a pessimist become a stumbling block. The Scripture stated the attitude we should adopt, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Therefore, let’s choose to see the beautiful things of life daily even when ugly things rear its head. As much as we desire to remove them from our sight, always remember that God’s blessings abound much more. Let God’s word have the final say in our lives not any man’s.
Let’s talk again!