Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In Pursuit of Consideration

Today is a historical moment for our country. The supreme court is disputing gays' rights for marriage AS I WRITE and although I don't know what's being argued or what the outcome will be, I do have a plea for the country:

Let's be considerate.

Our Declaration of Independence initiated the public thought of a new country founded on freedoms and equality, but it also initiated our country's right to pursue happiness. It didn't define happiness for us, but it allows us to pursue it however we choose.

And I choose to do so with consideration of others.

Like most of the country, I choose sides for various political issues. I think I'm right all of the time, and I think you're wrong when you don't agree with me. I have an ego, and I'm perfectly willing to judge you for not agreeing with me. But I also see no reason to be rude about it. 

You can be on whichever side of the argument you want. That's the basis this county was built on. But to grow as an individual, to set an example for our children, to find sustainable happiness, you cannot ignore the significance of being considerate.

Let the car next to you merge, open the door for the person behind you, heck, let the lady on the cell phone go on ahead of you at the grocery store. Others may not notice your being considerate of them, but no harm will come from putting consideration out there. The best part? You'll start to notice others being considerate to you. Because let's face it--no one HAS to let you merge on the highway, yet we do it all the time. No one HAS to give you eye contact when you have a conversation, yet we do it all the time. No one HAS to answer the phone when you call, yet we do it all the time.

So feel free to argue your point all you want, but do so with consideration. Use respectful language, think through valid points, and don't be motivated by belittling your opponent's point of view. You'll never be happy by exploiting others and letting frustration overwhelm you.

And what's the point of winning if you can't be happy about it?

Let's pursue our happiness with consideration, after all, we have a right to.

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