Friday, April 25, 2014

Life lessons- Don't submit to the court of public opinion

                                                                                    * Photo Credit to Sears Canada

I've been learning something pretty important this past year. 
It's kind of funny how I tripped over the lesson that I needed desperately to learn but never even knew I needed it.

I have learned that I can choose to let people set standards for me, or I can choose to set my own. There is a saying out there: 

“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that” --Geothe

I have had my fair share of people that have been cruel in their treatment of me. Everyone has. 
There was a point last year that I started to see a glimmer of hope that the things I most desperately wanted were possible. In those moments, I started quietly to make moves toward those goals. It wasn't until people started finding out about my goals that I had several people decide to speak against it, with either their words or their actions. Tell me it wasn't possible. Make personal attacks. Basically tell me I wasn't cut out for the job. People that didn't know me. 

But I was also gifted this year with more than one person that took for granted everything that was possible. The people I am thinking of never spoke one critical word, never one reason why the goals I had were unachievable. I am intensely grateful for these people. I can not tell you what a gift to me they have been. 

But it did put me in the position of having to make a choice.

I had to decide whether to listen to the people who were negative,  or those who chose to display 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love as an extension of who they are.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

What I decided to do was set aside the opinions of those whose goals had nothing to do with love, and work toward my goal. I decided two things: 

1) God is in charge of my reputation
2) My work will stand for itself

I'd say it's working out pretty well for me so far.

There is a takeaway from all of this.

The court of public opinion is very fickle. They like to have an opinion, and often deliver it with no tact or decorum.
Much like a seagull, after they have dropped in on you, and have delivered their insult, they will fly off to leave you with the mess. Their concern is not with walking along side you to better you.

It is best, to then choose to adopt and communicate a personal policy that 'constructive criticism is willingly accepted, under the condition that it is tactfully and lovingly offered, and accompanied by offers of help'.
Much more productive, and deters those sharing with you from a purely critical standpoint.

And please, please don't give up. We're all waiting to see how you'll amaze us.


  1. Great thought Jen! A good reminder to live for the One who is in charge of it all :)

    1. It's too easy to get distracted in trying to please everyone. When there is only ONE we should be trying to please.

  2. great words of encouragement Jen...may you continue on your journey of faith that all things are possible with God....dream your dream then dream bigger!
    much love and hugs

  3. Nice post Jen. I think we all have to learn and relearn this lesson often. Reminds me of this quote attributed to Mother Teresa:

    "People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

    1. Yes. I have read, and re-read that quote so many times. She knew what she was talking about, she did.

  4. Jennifer, I found you on the table for seven link up. I am sorry about people and the unkind responses they give. They love to hide behind the computer..I enjoyed your post!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how you found the blog!
      I think that even though it caused pain, it's gonna be worth the lesson. Can't extend someone empathy if you haven't been there right?


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