As a kid I remember being told, “Don’t be so serious,” and “You think too much”. This always frustrated me because I didn’t know how to be less serious nor did I know how to think less. I still don’t and I’m now in my 60’s. The only thing that did for me was make me think there was something wrong with me.
There are other things I have heard said to people – “grow up”, “act your age”. All of these comments come from someone who is not accepting another person’s behavior. They want that person to respond the way they do. How realistic is that? What makes them think they are the standard of comparison? It is really quite ironic for a person who only knows what they know to coax a person who only knows what they know to respond like them. The only way that is ever going to happen, possibly, is if they are identical twins and have experienced everything in their lives the same. Not likely? More than that – impossible.
We are all as unique as our DNA. We were all created individually by The Divine Creator. Anyone who reads all of Psalm 139 has no choice but to come to that conclusion. Reading it will help you to see yourself as someone special, handmade.
Have you ever seen any two people, other than identical twins, who looked the same? Take a little serious time and think deeply about that. You may resemble your mother or father, but you are a combination of them. If you have a sibling, do they look different? Do they see things differently? Do they like different things – food, colors, clothes, hair styles? How do you explain that?
Then why does someone want another person to be like them? It may be a matter of control or manipulation. Control is usually driven by fear. Manipulation is influencing for one’s own advantage. Neither of these are present in a healthy relationship.
We have standards – the Bible for sure. You may not accept that so pick something else – the law. These are standards for all of us. If we break laws we suffer the consequences. They apply to everyone regardless of background, nationality, experiences, etc. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial to see if the facts support the commission of the crime and then there are things like circumstances, intent, etc. that are taken into consideration.
I, however, am not a standard. As a parent I have had to make judgments regarding my children’s behavior and discipline accordingly. I was their example, their guide. There are things I would do differently today, but I don’t have that option. My children are raising their children the same way. They take what they learned from me and combine it with their experiences and what they have learned. Add their spouses to the mix and it all gets stretched.
We have all come through that which is unique to our family. How can any of us expect everyone else to be like us? None of us knows what we don’t know. Can we learn from each other? I think so. Can we accept each other’s differences? I think so. Can we agree to disagree? I think so. But this is only what I think. I only know what I know and nothing more, but I may learn something from someone today that will make me different tomorrow.