Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We can’t walk the path for them

People are going to do what they are going to do. 

Even under the threat of consequence. 

Even if they know full well that it’s bad for them. 

Even despite any attempts to control their behaviors and emotions through pleasing, scaring or shaming. 

People are going to do what they are going to do. 

It sounds quite cynical and fatalistic and bleak. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps an invitation. To come to terms with the fact that we can’t control people. And to surrender our attempts to manipulate situations, feelings and emotions. 

I once read an interesting leadership book written by two pastors. They admitted that one of the hardest lessons they learned as family and marriage counselors was that expressing disapproval or anger about somebody’s bad behavior is not going to make it stop, it will only make people stop talking about it. Their issues will go underground, and you will have lost the opportunity to inspire them create real, lasting change. 

And so, it all boils down to choice. Because choice gives people control, which gives them freedom, which leads to happiness. Who are we to take that away from someone? 

Look, everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Everyone is struggling with some issue and needs the opportunity to explore it on their own schedule. And so, their pain doesn’t need to become our next project. 

People are going to do what they are going to do. 

Beecher once said that liberty is the soul's right to breathe, and when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girdled too tight. 

His governmental proverb also applies to our relationships. 

If we really want to help the people we love, we should give them oxygen, not opinions. 

Whose path are you trying to walk for them?
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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

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