Be the bigger person

I am the oldest child in my family and have two younger sisters. I’ve come to like being the oldest, but when I was younger it felt like a burden sometimes. As siblings do, my sisters and I used to fight more than we do now. Whenever we did, my mom would always say to me, “Be the bigger person.”

For a pre-teen to be told that, when all I wanted to do was fight back and succumb to my anger, was hard. Lemme tell ya, I used to absolutely HATE it. I hated having to pretend I was over the fight. I hated having to apologize through gritted teeth. I hated giving in even though I KNEW I was right. I hated turning the other cheek, as Carolyn Ingalls always said in Little House on the Prairie.

But…come to think of it now, one of us had to be the bigger person. If none of us had decided to rise above the fight and our own anger, than we would still be fighting, 8 years later. Of course, I only realize this now, years and years after the fact. I just thank my Mom for telling me that, even though I probably muttered something under my breath whenever she did.

I’ve been thinking; maybe the rest of society needs to be told that. “Be the bigger person.”

It’s no secret that society seems to be falling apart bit by bit, slowly but surely; the media makes damn sure that we know that. School shootings, riots in the streets, terrorism, racism, hate crimes, etc. This world has rapidly changed before my eyes. I don’t remember hearing about such hatred being so widespread a few years ago. Yes, its scary, but to me, it’s mostly sad.

I understand and applaud people standing up for thier rights. I, myself, preach standing up for yourself and not taking shit from anyone. But there is a fine line between standing up for yourself, and stepping on other people’s toes.

Just think about this for a second: I wrote earlier that when my sisters and I used to fight, I was always told to be the bigger person, and that if one of us hadn’t done that then we would probably still be fighting today. On a bigger scale, different subcultures, races, religions, political parties, all bicker and disagree like siblings. Maybe the reason these disagreements have been getting worse by the day is because no one has decided to be the bigger person.

My heart has been breaking. Recently hearing of the shootings in Kenya and the Baltimore riots have done me in. I just wish that I could do something to stop the hate from spreading. I wish I could help. I wish I could just speak to the world using a megaphone and somehow think of something to say that would make everyone just snap out of it!

But common…if the big-wigs of the world can’t even figure out a way to stop it, how would I? So far, I’m really a nobody in the world, so there’s no way I can make a change so large that every single person would be willing to listen and agree. Sure, call me a negative-nancy or a debbie-downer…but I’m only being realistic.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if no one else in the world is willing to rise above the hate and be the bigger person, it might as well be me.

While everyone else is spewing hate, I will emit positivity. While citizens bicker back and forth with a closed mind, I will smile and keep mine open. While society kills itself from the inside out, I will do everything I can to cure it, no matter how small. Smile instead of cry, praise instead of put down, and pray, pray, pray. I will be strong, I will rise above the hate, and I will set a good example, as all oldest siblings must do. And if this is the beginning of the end, I hope to radiate kindness to all I can reach untill that end. If I can’t stop the hate completely, I will battle it by turning the other cheek.

This may be too much to ask of a human being. After all, the only one I know to have done this successfully is Jesus Christ Himself. And…I may think differently if I was being directly affected by the violence. I hope that I would be strong enough to not succumb to the horror and let my humanity take over, as I’ve heard of happening to others, such as the rioters in Baltimore. But for now, all I can think of doing is spreading love and good vibes in every day acts of kindness…to prove that there are still good people out there.

I know this won’t make a change on the global level; but if I can be a beacon of positivity to those around me, while waves of hatred threaten to consume our world, that’s a start. I challenge everyone to do the same; to be the bigger person. Who knows…maybe we can start a movement. All I know is that if everyone could rise above thier own anger, think logically, and realize that we are all human, we may be on to something.

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