We all have people in our lives that we love but don’t necessarily like. In my case, there are people in my family that I love dearly but I don’t like overall. That is not to say that I detest them or anyone else for that matter. What it does say is that it is difficult for me to comprehend how they treat others. There are a few family members that look at life as a money roll. There is nothing wrong with making a lot of money or making a good life for yourself. But treating others who do not share your social status as people who are beneath you is where I draw the line. I have one family member who married someone who is high maintenance. Better them than me. It’s good to have standards. However, when those standards eradicate healthy relationships with others, then it’s time to be okay with yourself so that when you choose to walk away, you have zero regrets.
So what do you do when you have family and acquaintances that you care about but don’t like? Well, if you are like most people, you put your fake face on and act like everything is good. Or you may avoid them altogether. You may have the mentality “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” In my case, it’s been a mixture. Thankfully I know that God knows what I’m doing and he may not like it but he still loves me unconditionally, even when I have difficulty reciprocating that sentiment with others. I would be remiss if I didn’t own up to my own faults.
When people in your life make you feel less than you are, have you noticed that they are the first to notice what you do wrong and the last to confront the issues? I think it’s human nature. But the actions of myself and others have made me take a hard look at what’s important in life. It’s important to be okay with yourself. I’ve often heard that “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” There is a lot of truth to that statement but sometimes learning to compromise can go a long way. When I go on social media, there is a blatant reality that I don’t like to deal with. Some of the same folks who consistently talk poorly of another party are the same folks who are screaming for unity. We all tend to have faces that we show the world and when our behavior is less than stellar, we are condemned for having those momentary lapses in judgment. I’m glad to see so many perfect people out there. I know I am far from perfect. I hope I never judge others the way they are doing.
Not everyone is our friend. There are many people who will claim to be your friend but are among some of the first to stick the knives in your back. There are true friends and good people out there but they are few and far between. I think the past couple of weeks have brought this to light more than other times in my life. What I have learned is that politics and friendships don’t mix. I’ve seen sides to people that I never thought I would see. I’ve had bad moments too. There are always things that happen in life that we wish we could have handled differently. But we often jump to conclusions and make poor decisions when it happens.
Why am I bringing this up? In life, we have the choices we have to make. Planning for what happens at the end of our lives can be a daunting undertaking. If you have children, the assumption is that you will leave behind anything you possess to them. That’s not always the case but if you don’t have children, many times the estates are left to the next of kin unless you have made provisions for this. I have no children. None that survived at any rate. I have a lot of families scattered throughout the United States. There are very few things that I’ve bequeathed to them. I don’t have much but the little bit I do have I choose to do something different with. I’ve made provisions to ensure that the family won’t get monetary endowments. I love my family but I know that if I were to leave anything they could sell behind, they’d be the first to sell them and not do things the way I’d like to see done. I haven’t made a secret of this. So before anyone has a shock sensor about this, life isn’t about the possessions we leave to others or behind. It’s about people and doing things to protect things for generations to come. My stomach drops when I see developers scour up more land to be built on. There are enough buildings that are falling down that could use revamping and yet those buildings are left to rot, all in the name of progress. Everything boils down to one common denominator – money.
You have to determine what is important to you and what you choose to leave behind for your legacy. If you have a plentiful estate, figure out who you want to leave your possessions to. After all, we can’t take anything with us when we die. People are going to do with what’s left behind the way they want. They could care less about what your wishes were. But if you make a will, at least you give a voice to what your wishes may entail. I know a lot of folks who don’t have one. The only thing I can say to them is to be prepared for the unexpected. None of us have a say in anything when it’s our time to go but we do have a legal voice when provisions were made. There is a reason that a will exist. You don’t have to have a lot of money or material possessions to make one. It’s a lot like life insurance. If you do things to protect those you love, they may have the options later in life for a better life. Planning is critical when thinking about the future.
If you “fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this but think about the people and causes that are closest to your heart. Think about their future. None of us know what the future holds and everything is volatile right now. Emotions are high and some of the decisions being made in our government are questionable. Research everything and take nothing for granted. There will always be difficult choices to be made. Make them with a clear mind and purpose. Doing anything out of fear and anger can be a bad omen. In the meantime, catch your breath. Take the time to evaluate your surroundings. Dream a little. Think about the world you want to create as you prepare to leave things behind. I hope we all live long healthy lives. The reality is that there are more diseases than ever attacking us. It’s always better to be proactive than reactive. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. You don’t have to give away all your knowledge. But you do have to be willing to open yourself up to difficult conversations and decisions.