Preamble to Reaction

In light of all things beautiful and exhausting that encompass an election year in a free nation, I thought I would share one of my favorite quotations. I have it written on multiple sticky notes and posted in various places where I’ll see it every day.

The quotation goes like this:

Just because their way isn’t your way doesn’t make them wrong.

It also doesn’t necessarily make you right.

It’s something I had to say years ago. To myself. Why? Because often my Type A Only Child tries to run the show that is my life. It’s a line I have to quote often because I want to be a more kind and understanding child, spouse, chaplain, friend, citizen, house-mate, in-law, colleague, leader, editor, author, role model, pet owner, neighbor, etc.

I’ll be honest, when the statement was born, I was rearranging the dishwasher. That’s right. I’m so Type A that I rearrange the dishwasher if someone else didn’t load it my way. The first time I quoted myself was a mere 15 minutes later while I unfolded and refolded towels. Yep, that happened, too. (I did not claim this was my proudest post.) I have also quoted myself to myself during more serious situations at work, when offering advice, while planning events, and in conversations with family members. So you can imagine my need to hear it amid political agendas, conventions, and various attempts to establish justice in our nation.

I’ve already had to quote myself to myself twice today, and likely will a few more times before this day comes to a close. Yet I have found my “I’m sorry” count is in direct correlation to whether or not I heed my own advice. And I like to keep my need for apologies, or in other words, my hurting or offending others, to a minimum for the sake of insuring domestic tranquility and promoting general welfare. Ergo, my quotation has become my preamble to reaction.

From loading the dishwasher, to folding towels, to giving a speech, to strategizing about city parking, to dividing up roles in a family, to changing lanes in traffic, to drafting a blueprint for a new building, to parenting, to running the country…Just because their way isn’t your way, doesn’t make them wrong. It also doesn’t necessarily make you right. And I find that to be a liberating blessing.


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