I'm forever hammering two 'rules for life' into my children's minds:
1. We treat people the way we want to be treated, not the way we are treated.
2. You don't get blessings for being nice to your friends. It's easy to be nice to people you like.
And, I'm forever hammering into my own mind the following rule for life:
Just because you think it, and just because you're right, doesn't mean you should say it.
But don't you just get sick of being nice all the time? Especially when you try your hardest to be nice and someone still takes your words and contorts them into something nasty? Or when life has handed you a very unfair set of circumstances and demanded that you deal with it and just be the bigger person? Don't you sometimes just want to tell everyone what you really think of them for good or for bad and then rally everyone else to your cause?
Well, it doesn't mean you should. You get the blessings when it's hard to be nice and you do it anyway.
I read a wonderful series of articles on marriage by Wally Goddard on Meridian Magazine. The principles he discussed could easily apply to any relationship, not just a marriage. One of the things he said is that when we feel irritated with someone (or any other in a range of negative emotions, I assume), that is our invitation to elevate our thinking and our actions. We are invited to correct a flaw in our character, not the other person. Holy cow.
But, isn't that a heart-stoppingly lovely way to look at things? And won't it keep me busy.