Ever feel like you must be a really bad person because bad things keep happening to you? This is especially a problem for children. And sometimes, as children and then later as adults, we try harder and harder to be better only to have the same bad things happen. The result is that we don’t understand the rules of life or what is correct behavior, and we flounder in our actions, our beliefs, and our trust.
When we receive these signals—that it doesn’t matter whether we’re good or bad because God must have given up on us—they can cause irreparable damage later on in life.
- If we keep trying to be loving, caring, considerate, and thoughtful and crap happens, we lose faith in people, in life, and in God.
- If we give up trying to be kind and ethical because it doesn’t ensure us a trouble-free life, we figure we might as well do something to deserve that bad treatment.
It’s a no-win scenario either way.
The sad part is the few people stop us and tell us that the bad treatment rarely has anything to do with us.
We are often simply the victim of bad events or the recipient of others’ bad behavior.
- Your parents get divorced and you think you caused it.
—–You try harder to be what they want, but you can’t bring them back together.
- An adult beats you and you think you must be a bad child or it wouldn’t happen.
—–You try harder to be what they want, but the beatings continue.
- Your lover finds a new special someone so you think you must be lacking or undesirable in some way that you weren’t when you first met.
—–You try harder to be what they want, but it doesn’t matter because they have moved on.
- Your parents have always thought your oldest sister was the favorite and you just happen to be born second.
—–You try harder to be what they want, but you can’t change the order of your birth.
- Your spouse puts you down in front of others all the time.
—–You try harder to be what they want, but nothing you do changes their behavior.
- Your friend tells everyone on the internet what a lousy dresser you are.
—–You try harder to be what they want, but they refuse to be satisfied.
In all of these examples (and I’m sure you could add several more), you did nothing bad or wrong. It was other unhappy people who were trying to make you feel small so they could feel big.
Here’s the secret:
You are not responsible for other people’s happiness or unhappiness.
The best you can do is try to be a good person in this life.
There are roughly 7 billion people in this world and you can’t make them all happy no matter how hard you try. You can’t satisfy their needs, their hungers or their dreams even if you devoted every second of your life to it.
Here’s my theory—
- God doesn’t make mistakes and He didn’t make a mistake when He made you. You are the most perfect version of yourself that could be created. And that’s a good thing.
- God is the only judge of your behavior that counts. Humans are generally too fickle or self-involved to be counted on as good judges. They have too much invested in their own self-interest to be overly concerned about you.
- If you try to be a generally good, ethical person, the rest of the world will just have to:
- a) find someone else to pick on,
b) get over it, or
- c) just go away.
In either case, they will leave you alone.
- Your job is to try to save others (especially children) from this self-defeating attitude and encourage them to be amazing—just like you.
Got it? Now, go do it!