Credit: How to Live
I am not always the easiest person to get along with, mainly because it is rare that I stay silent. Most of the time that comes out in the means of jovial outbursts and laughter but sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve never been one to stay quiet when something bothers me. I’m the person that calls others out on a racist jokes, I will march on city hall for a cause I believe in and most of the time I refuse to be quiet for the sake of peace. As I get older I am learning which battles require my attention the most and focusing on those that are useful and constructive.
For the past five years I have had a strained relationship with my now in-laws. It is rare that we see eye to eye on anything (except that my father-in-law and I really really love baseball). Our beliefs are near to polar opposite. I am liberal. They are conservative. They are highly involved in organized religion. I tend to avoid it. We just don’t feel the same way about anything. And this weekend that all came to a head when they were visiting us so I’ve been trying to respectfully and quietly wade through five years worth of issues which is well, frustrating to me. I really don’t feel like I should have to defend myself or be the bigger person and even be having the conversations I am having. It would be easier and better for my marriage to sever the ties and move on that’s not how it works when you decide you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone and make babies with them. Le Hubs comes with a family that is very different from my own and while he’s not close to them like I am with my own family, they are a part of our life on a fairly consistent basis.
What does this have to do with being kind? Well, here’s the thing I can be really vindictive and mean when I want to be so with this particular situation I am attempting to be kind and try my very hardest to see things from another perspective. Its not easy trying to mix oil and water which is what integrating our families has been like so far. Its can’t be easy to let your kids grow up and move out and move on. And its probably really difficult to realize that ideologically you have very little in common with your child. In this instance, as in most others, no one’s battle is easy and so no matter how upsetting the situation is, becomes and continues to be I am trying to take some advice from Plato and be nice.