Do Unto Yourself as You Do Unto Others

I don’t have a ton of time today. It’s still the beginning of the semester, and even my lunch breaks seem to be slipping through my fingers. But I did want to get on here to give a snippet of a thought I had this morning as I was opening the library. Twice a week, I go around and turn on the lights, make sure the building’s in order, check for open windows or leaks. That sort of thing. This morning, my mind was a thousand different places, and I forgot to turn on one bank of lights as I was making my rounds. It wasn’t a big deal. I just had to backtrack all of fifty feet to go do it. But I’ve been stressed, and I caught myself talking to myself as I headed back.

“You’re such an idiot. You’re so stupid.” That was the exact quote I told myself, as I recall. And as the words left my mouth and I realized what I’d said, I also realized how out of character that was for me. I would never–ever–say that to someone else. Not even if I thought the person was a grade A dunce. I wouldn’t even say that about a person when they weren’t in the room. And yet there I was, telling that to myself over and over, not because I’d done some major error, but because I’d made a ten second mistake.

So the thought is this. Maybe I should go easier on myself. Maybe I should treat myself the way I treat other people. Be more understanding. Be more sympathetic. Recognize when times are rough and I need to ease off a bit.

I’ve long noticed that people often treat their family members worse than they treat friends or strangers. That you’ll say something to your sibling or parent that you’d never say to anyone else. There’s a variety of reasons for that, but it’s been a point of mine to at least try to do better. To treat my family with the same respect I treat friends and strangers. But it wasn’t until this morning that I realized I should probably extend that umbrella of protection to include myself.

I do think words matter. Even words you mutter under your breath while you’re opening the library. If I’m saying those things, then you can count on me thinking things that are even worse. That kind of thinking does nothing productive. It doesn’t inspire me to improve. It doesn’t help me focus. It’s just negativity for negativity’s sake.

It’s time for me to try to stop that. If you’re doing it to yourself, maybe you should think about following suit. Just a thought.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

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