Live your life the way you want?

>>  Friday, January 11, 2013

I read a tweet recently:

"Live your life the way you want it, not what other people want. Don't live your life to please anyone but you."

Initially it seems like an empowering way to live.

But I pondered it for a while  and decided I couldn't disagree more.

In fact, I decided the less people that think this way, the better a world we might live in.

"Live your life the way you want it, not what other people want."

Does this include laws?  Ok let's assume laws must be kept.  What about general common decency?  What about my family?  To be quite honest there are many many mornings where I really don't want to haul myself out of bed to shake a grumpy teenager, so be grunted at by HWMBO and to please my manager and mortgage provider.  Nothing would make me happier than to Shirley Valentine, that's what I want to do right about now. But my family would probably prefer I didn't.  What they want matters quite a lot to me, as it does to many.

"Don't live your life to please anyone but you."

Probably shouldn't hold a door open for a mum with a pram then because to be quite honest I'm a busy lady and nothing would have done me better than to let the door go and rush off but I thought it might make that tired mum a little less stressed if she could just push pram straight through.

It made me think of a post I wrote 2 years ago.

"Thank you to the teenage metal head who spoke so politely, it broke my preconceived opinion of youth today.

Thank you to the man who smiled patiently when yet again I got the timing wrong at the chicane and he had to wait.

Thank you to the sea of volunteers whose same faces turn up again and again in youth groups, on stage, at open days and remind me that I live in community not a faceless town.

Thank you to the man in the shop who smiled and made me feel like more like a woman and less of a drudge.

Thank you to the shop assistants who smile at my inane comments despite having heard the same thing at least 20 times already today."

If all those people hadn't tried to please me I wouldn't have been half so happy and how wonderful that even after this time I still remember how lovely those things felt. 

If I can make one person feel as good because I chose to please them not necessarily myself and you do the same and then they do the same and then.....and then.....

Small stones make big ripples.  And if you want to fill your bucket you do it by giving not receiving.  It doesn't take much, it's the insignificant every day acts of kindness that make mountains of difference.

So I really think that the person who decides to "Live your life the way you want it not what other people want. Don't live your life to please anyone but you."  is probably not going to be the happiest button in the tin.  They might be the big brass buckle that everyone sees first but the happiest button is happy doing what it does best.

Have a nice day.

Here's another 'Man' living it the way he wants:


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