(Written by Chris Mohn)
I’m not sure how I became the way I am, but I’m convinced that not all of it was intentional on my part. As I mature, I’m starting to look more carefully at my reactions to different things I encounter and to ask – “where did that come from?” I’m starting to believe that I adopted a great many of my beliefs from parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends. Some of these beliefs and my reactions to things/situations no longer serve me.
My goal is to become a more loving, kinder, gentler, a more welcoming person with each passing day. I will never achieve this goal if I don’t consider my beliefs and how I respond to things. Let me provide a few examples:
- Tattoos – historically, I’ve been against tattoos, and it seems that I’ve been parroting the view of my parents and grandparents. I still think if you want to be unique today, you may as well do so by not getting a tattoo, but my responses have softened markedly.
- Sometimes I am bombastic and perhaps a bit too emotional in my political beliefs. I’m not sure exactly where this came from, I’m pushing to be calm and quiet, rather than being forceful with my opinions. To ask great questions and dig deeper to see what the other person knows.
- Music - my kids often play music that I cannot relate to, or that is not to my liking. My responses have varied over the years; let's say I sound like my father - that is noise.
I would love to be like the people you hear about that never talk about others negatively when they are not around. I have not been this person thus far in my life. I do aspire to move in this direction, knowing that this will be the ultimate challenge.
Maybe this type of thinking is simply part of the process of aging, wanting to have reflected on a life well-lived. I cannot say for sure. One thing that I do know is that I want to be more like grandma – to be the first to hustle over with a hug and a warm greeting. Someone who smiles all the time and is intentionally calm. Always with a kind word and the belief that others are doing the best that they can. Is this too much to hope for and to work towards? I think not, it’s time for me to giddy-up.