A wise Southern friend from the past convinced me when he said, “Most people do the best they can most of the time.” This statement changed my life. I stopped judging others. It allowed me to try to be empathetic and realize that everyone does not come from the same perspective as I do. What else did it teach me? What is the lesson for our President-elect?
If someone hurts me, it may not be about me but rather about what they fear or experience at that time. So if women plan to march at the inauguration, it may not be about Donald Trump but rather their fear of the need to protect women and their children’s rights. They are simply exercising their First Amendment Rights.
If someone disagrees with me politically, it is not necessary to take that personally but instead to recognize that we are two Americans who both have the right to disagree. An appropriate response is, “I disagree with you for this particular reason but respect your differing opinion.”
The way I respond to criticism publicly will tell the world about me. If I am angry, defensive, and critical; the world will believe I have no confidence in myself. If I rise above it, I will remain confident, accepting, and willing to acknowledge other points of view.
My Southern mother taught me to always maintain grace with dignity. “Never let them see you sweat or lose your dignity.” It seems to me that believing in and trusting the best in others until proven otherwise is the essence of wisdom in relationships. President-elect Trump, make nice, as we say in the South.