There are people who exude goodness. The words valid, authentic, and honest apply to them. When we have someone in our life with these qualities - or more than one such person - we are more than fortunate.
We can pay attention to how those of true colors conduct themselves and keep them in our lives, even emulate them. While we will rarely agree with everything they say or do, we won't find any shame or deception in them.
Everyone establishes a track record. I have one, you have one, everyone does. Do we realize how important that is?
I have been a Pollyanna throughout much of my life, and it was often a mistake. It is a good thing to trust people unless or until they prove untrustworthy, and I want to operate that way. But I don't want to overlook track records, ignoring a history that should serve as a warning.
Treating everyone the way we want to be treated is called the Golden Rule for a good reason. It has passed the test of time. But we should not assume everyone has virtue. It isn't even fair to assign angelic qualities to someone just because we like them. We need to know their track record and see their true colors.
Thankfully, we are forgiven our trespasses, perhaps repeatedly, allowing time for reform. At a minimum, to the extent we require forgiveness, we should offer it as well. It is not, however, the same as forgetting track records.
Everyone establishes a track record.
I have one, you have one, everyone does.
Do we realize how important that is?
So what makes up a track record? Is what we see what we get? How does someone treat other people, especially those who have nothing they want? And how does someone treat people who give them what they want? Whom do they select for friends? Do they have friends? Do they espouse the Golden Rule but not live it?
We all make mistakes, but do we continue to make them? Do we know we made them? Do we take responsibility for our failings or are they always someone else's fault?
We need to know, but not dwell on, others' faults. Knowing what traits we want in those we associate with is essential. For me, I have to have honesty. Not perfection. Honesty.
After knowing what we want in our lives, we can surround ourselves with those who exhibit those traits. Being surrounded by the kind of people we want to be will keep us buoyed up and give us encouragement and time to improve ourselves.
What I know for certain is I am the only one who can improve me. Only you can improve you. You and I can lead lives that might even be worthy of inspiring others. But we need to live a life with a track record we are proud to have created. Whatever we do, our true colors will show, certain to leave a track record.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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