We’ve all experienced crap in life.
People whom we liked treated us like crap. Something we worked on turned into crap. Or we just felt like crap.
Such moments are tough. We feel like we got the shitty end of the stick, like everyone we know has turned against us, and even people who don’t know us are silently judging us. We want to strangle anyone who tells us to look at the silver lining.
These and other experiences shape our perceptions and dictate how we treat others.
When it comes to treating people in our lives, we do one of two things. We either treat them like shit because we’re trying to protect ourselves from the pain they might cause us. (Honestly, this is cowardice. The truth is that this feels like retribution because “everyone should know how I felt when I was wronged.”)
Or we treat people better than what we experienced because, in some way, we want them to get what we didn’t have — hope.
What we don’t realize is that how we treat others says a lot about who we are and who we become.
The 3 Types of “Sight”
Hindu culture talks about three types of “sight”.
Drishti is the objective reality, where we can see tangible and measurable aspects.
Divya dristhti is the subjective reality where we can see the underlying feelings behind tangible actions and responses.
Darshan is when our vision of the subject reveals something about ourselves.
When we treat people poorly, we reinforce the perception that the world is an evil place. We let our past define who we are and extend the same behavior to others. In trying to make others feel miserable, we further discover misery and anger inside us and use it. When people leave because they cannot handle this toxic behavior, we paint ourselves as victims.
But when we treat others better, we discover that we have what it takes to give them hope. In the process, we push our own limits, expand our minds, and uplift ourselves.
When we accept others’ mistakes, we learn to accept our own. When we offer to help others, we open up to accepting help. When we respect others’ boundaries, we begin to draw our own without feeling guilty.
In other words, helping others build their esteem builds our self-esteem.
Change your vision, and your vision will change you. — Gaur Gopal Das
The Intent Matters
Treating others well can be energizing or exhausting depending on our motive. The motive behind actions matters more than the actions themselves.
When we treat people well because we crave appreciation, we set ourselves up for unhappiness… when their ideas conflict with ours, when they don’t listen to us, or when they don’t thank us for our help. This unhappiness grows until it becomes the lens through which we see the entire world.
But when we treat people well because it’s the right thing to do, we realize that we can only help them in their battle, not fight it for them. We also accept ourselves and see the world through a positive lens lives. This positivity pushes us to take action to add meaning to life and make it better.
People don’t deserve to be treated like crap just because someone else did it to you. Being a good human being doesn’t have to be a means to a selfish end. It’s an end in itself. Nothing is stopping you from doing it.
Step out of the turtle shell which limits you. Be the person you needed ten years ago. Over time, this will circle back to you tenfold.