Monday, February 25, 2008

The One Thing Everybody Wants

We all want to be happy.

I'd read this, but it didn't really sink in until Saturday evening. There's a woman, in a group I was playing a game with, who I really don't like much. I won't go into why - there are a number of reasons, some petty, some not. As I was lying in bed that night, falling asleep, I realized something:

She just wants to be happy. That's all she's trying to do.

Suddenly, I couldn't dislike her anymore. Her ways of pursuing happiness may not be effective for her - they certainly wouldn't be effective for me - but it doesn't change what they are. I'm not condoning meanness or cruelty, just recognizing that each of us is different. We each learn that different types of actions bring different types of rewards, and sometimes even if those beliefs no longer hold true, we cling to them. We're all just doing our best.

I challenge you to try thinking of someone you dislike, and re-framing their actions as their own pursuit of happiness. I'd love to hear what happens.