If we want the world to accept us as we are, we have to let people be who they are. Whether that’s rude, obnoxious, disrespectful or ignorant, you have to accept that you can’t change people. You can influence change in them, but you can’t make them change. Don’t make yourself sick, stressing over other people’s actions or words.
People will be whom they are, and they will do what they do – and we will never be able to control that. ‘You can bring the horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink’.
We can only control our actions. So, no matter what anybody says to you, they have every right to be who they are. Whether that’s good or bad, it teaches us whom we’re dealing with, and how to deal with the individual; sometimes, it even shows you whether or not you want this person in your life. That’s how we find our tribe.
Some people are who they are by choice; it’s not your job to agree with or approve their choices. They may want to be that way. In some cases, it’s because they are struggling within themselves – and that’s the only way they feel empowered.
Many a time, it is who they’ve been all their lives, and we all know habits are hard to break. If they are seemingly unaware of how detrimental it is to their personal growth and relationships, you can always try to influence change for the better, but the choice to change is ultimately theirs, and we must accept that.
Sometimes, we are aware of our toxic behaviours, and we justify and even rationalise them, because we may not know where to start breaking a lifelong habit. You must remember that growth happens in different phases and paces for each of us. Sometimes, it takes a few head bumps to get the lesson, and some lessons we never learn until it is too late.
Don’t be too quick to condemn or judge others for making the same mistakes – instead, remind yourself of how long it took you to learn some of the lessons that got you to where you are. The first mistake we make is assuming other people are supposed to react to things the same way we do.
What you can do is plant the seed that may make the lesson clearly understood when the time is right.
Plant your seed, my friend; say your say respectfully. Forget about how it’s being received because that part is totally up to them. Plant your seed – then let it go.
Life has this way of always teaching people the hard way, and maybe that’s what they need – a hard lesson from life.
“The teacher will appear once the learner is ready.”
Paula Christoph’s column concentrates positive and inspirational write-up’s every second Friday in the New Era newspaper.