We were walking the East End Beach trail when my husband said he had been talking to a colleague last week at work. This colleague had younger children than ours. He was in the throes of it, seemingly an uphill climb.
My husband and I are on the far side, with children grown. Now we speak in the past tense.
My husband shared with this colleague that our kids were just good kids. Didn’t cause trouble. Were respectful and kind. Sensible.
“Common sense,” he said. “They were just decent kids. Always.”
And then he said to me as we walked, “And I’m proud of that.”
We walked a few paces more. I smiled but remained quiet. I knew more was coming.
He turned to me and said, “I am most proud of that.”
He continued, “I know that says more about them than us, but I’ve got to hope, we had a hand in that. Our home was just respectful.” He looked out at Casco Bay. “I hope we had a hand in that.”
I’m not sure of the breadth of what he was thinking and remembering, but common sense, is what I was thinking.
We live what we know.
We behave according to what we see, who we associate with, what our values tell us.
This is the reason, we, as parents want our kids to associate with upstanding friends. If you are who you associate with, you want your kids hanging with others who have aspirations and dreams, who are motivated, skilled in ways that they teach and bring out more in those around them.
Optimism and grateful attitudes are better pre-coursers to success than rigidly following society’s rules in a way that rewards perfection. Seeking perfection comes at a high price. We might miss out on the creative, entrepreneurial, curious fellows that impact a society with their innovations and ideas.....that come by trying and trying and trying again. Failing and trying.
Common sense. Let’s be with those who make us feel best, never those who make us feel worse after having been in their presence. Let’s be with those who broaden our minds, not shut our minds down.
Common sense. If I am kind to you, you’ll likely be kind to me.
Common sense. We are all humans, wanting the same things – love, respect, acknowledgement, the opportunity to live a fulfilled life. I am no better than you. You are no better than me.
Common sense. If neither of us is better than the other, than we each deserve all this world has to offer if we work hard and seek all that we wish for.
Common sense. We need each other. We are all in this together.
So shouldn’t we work together? Come together?
I find leadership rather simple (common sense) and yet that doesn’t seem to be our norm.
Simply, treat others the way you’d wish to be treated. If you’re creating an environment, a culture, a workplace or a home that you wouldn’t let your daughter or your mother enter, then maybe it’s not quite right. Maybe it has work to be done.
Until you can see your daughter, or your mom, or your son there – it’s not ready. It’s not the place YOU value.
Common sense says to live your values. Look from within, not from the outside in.
Be present. Be grateful.
Common sense says be kind.
Common sense says – what I want….is likely what many want.