I was sitting in church yesterday and noticed the daughter of one of my neighbors sitting on the stand ready to participate in the program. I was so excited. I looked around the congregation for her parents and, sure enough, there they were. I have known my neighbors for about nine years and that was the first time I had ever seen them in church. I watched their 7-year-old daughter sing every song word for word. She had obviously been coming for a while. Her parents were so touched.
Afterwards when talking with my friend, she said her daughter had been going to church with her grandparents and absolutely loves it. That little girl is now working on getting her parents to come back to church.
I was overcome that day with so much emotion. It made me look at some circumstances in my own life, and I realized most people do continually progress in their lives, and they do, sometimes, change their way of thinking. Itʼs amazing how people we love can have an influence on the things we do and it made me think about some things we can all do if we have children, spouses, siblings or even parents who need a little guidance from time to time:
Love them no matter what.
It doesnʼt mean you will change them, but it does mean you will have an impact if they feel a genuine love from you and the other people who are most important to them.
Donʼt judge them.
None of us like the way that feels, and I have learned over the course of my life that just because someone has made a bad decision today or found themselves twirling downward because of some attitude problems, it doesnʼt mean they will remain that way for the rest of their life. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Stand your ground.
Yes, we should love and respect all people, but that doesnʼt mean we have to accept their attitudes or actions and give them permission to do things that are hurtful or harmful just because they think itʼs OK. We can love people without giving them our approval.
Life is a journey.
We all have to find our way in this life, and we all have to figure out who we are and what is important to us. That takes time. We all know people who seem to have it together their entire life and never waiver on what they believe or what they think. But that is rare. Most of us have to go through a lot of heartache to figure out our true path.
Life is full of opportunities for change. I like to think most people are good, and I believe good people are constantly trying to be better. I personally think it would be so much easier to progress in this life if we were all cheering for each other and encouraging each other.
Think about how much sweeter your life would be if everyone you came in contact with showed you genuine love and respect and made you feel special. Now, go out and be that person and watch the impact you will have.
Janeen Diamond began her career with KUTV News, and hosts productions through her company, "Your TV Spot." She has authored, "Save Your Marriage in 30." Janeen is co-creator of "Teen Impact TV." She writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org and FamilyShare.com