Monday on the family and business blog I shared some thoughts about accepting ourselves and choosing happiness, and about accepting each other too. The last one is really hard for us because to an extent we’ve always accepted ourselves, even if it’s not fully, and we usually try to look out for our best interests. But when it comes to others, we’re not always so accepting. It’s not always easy to accept that different can be good, even great, and that others have needs that need to be met too, not to mention that their needs are different than our needs often, which adds another set of complications to our working well together.
One of the biggest things we need to overcome in learning how to support each other better is accepting that we have different wants, needs, desires and dreams. There are some things we all need like safety, food, clothing and love. But beyond that, and even in that, we each have different requirements. My needs for food may not line up with yours, nor might my needs in the other departments. Maybe you need a big house, maybe you need a small house, maybe you need to travel, maybe you need to surround yourself with kids and family, maybe you need to live in the big city, each of us have different preferences and needs that make us who we are and it’s an awesome world that we live in that we’re able to accommodate each of us to such a great extent.
For the most part we accept that we each have needs, but when it comes to what makes each of us happy some of us can’t accept that what we may like someone else does not, and that it’s OK to like different things. I don’t really like to watch comedies and don’t enjoy really spicy foods, visiting New York City is not something that excites me and I’ve never liked to add milk or sugar to my coffee. But I know many people do enjoy the things I don’t, and I have no problem with that. It’s when other people judge me or others for their personal preferences that I have an issue. As long as no one is being hurt or forced to do something they don’t want to what right do we have to judge other’s happiness? With as many problems as there are around the world do we really need to spend our time begrudging each other’s happiness?
“Most of us believe in trying to make other people happy only if they can be happy in ways which we approve.” Robert S. Lynd