For my 50th birthday my husband threw me a party. He had guests sign a silver frame with all their wonderful messages for me. Although turning 50 wasn’t that great, those wonderful wishes and thoughts from my friends and family are one of the things I’d carry out from a fire. My daughter wrote “You’re my hero”. A girlfriend wrote “You look amazing!” and a very close friend wrote on the frame “Never lose your rose colored glasses”.
I remember him laughing as he wrote it, teasing me as always being the “cheery one” who can find the something good in each situation. We’d worked together for years, and whenever I’d launch into some version of “making the best of a bad situation”, he’d quietly walk over to my white board and draw out a pair of red spectacles and pretend to be focused on coloring them in until I’d stop and laugh.
But now I realize that among the strengths I call mine- those rose colored glasses might just be one of the most important strengths I have. When I wear them I can understand people a little better, I’m willing to help them a little more, and I find I can learn more about life and the human spirit than I ever would if I spent my life with the armor on.
I think one of the benefits of getting to mid-life is that you gain a wisdom about what’s essential. How we live in this world and treat others becomes more important. So I think the world would change if we put on our rose colored glasses more often.
What would it be like if we could give others the benefit of the doubt and believe they have the best of intentions? At a minimum we can consider that they might be doing the best they can. Such a simple thing with powerful chemistry to change the world.
Receive a terse email from a coworker? Overhear a gossipy conversation? Didn’t get invited to a party? Maybe our friends are just humans with human frailties. Thinking about it that way, changes our whole view of the situation.
The realization that we have a choice in these situations makes me feel in control. I am giving others the opportunity to do it better and giving them a fresh start. How wonderful it would be if their wrong-doing faded to a distant memory and you were free of it?
“Never lose those rose colored glasses” Life is not perfect, we are not perfect. By improving how we think of others we are lessening most of life’s little irritations.
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