Relationships Are More Important Than Proving You’re Right

Relationships Are More Important Than Proving You’re Right

Our relationships are more important than that argument that won’t matter in 50 years.
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About a week ago, my mom and I were at the parking lot of our local bank, in the car ready to leave. I, being the driver, began to accelerate forward seeing that there were no cars in my way. My mom said, “Jasmine, stop, reverse instead!

Annoyed, I told her, “Mom, just relax OK, there are no cars pulling into the space in front!” Thinking that my mom was silly for being worried that other cars would pull into the lot in front of me since there were obviously no cars in sight, I didn’t listen and accelerated further, and that’s when I heard a loud SCRAAAATCH coming from my car’s bottom exterior.

I had not seen the cement parking stopper, and the bottom of my car had scraped against it pretty badly.

I gave my mom a sheepish grin. “Wups…


My mom didn’t look too happy, and I don’t blame her. I could’ve saved myself a whole lot of damage if I had only just listened to what she had to say instead of just assume what I thought she meant.

Thankfully, I wasn’t lectured after that, but it did make me think about things.

I started to think about all the other times I talked over my mom - and other people - because I thought I was right. I did not want to let them win. I needed to be right. I needed to be the one to win in the end, because it doesn’t feel good to lose.

I did not even give them an opportunity to explain much. As they talked, all I would do was think about how the other party was just so stubborn or so sensitive or so irritating, etc. etc.

Granted, there have been disagreements in the past where I really was right and my arguments made a lot of sense. But you know what? I didn’t come out a winner in that argument because I was the real loser. I was the person who wasn’t humble enough to listen to the feelings, thoughts, and perspectives of the other person. I was too proud to listen or hear anything they had to say. I wanted to remain close-minded and prove to the other person that I was right because I thought my opinion was correct.

Sounds horribly selfish me, but it’s happened before. Many times.

And I want to say sorry to all those people. Sorry for not being willing to step out of my own comfort zone to hear you out. Sorry for being judgmental and for thinking that I was always right.

Most importantly, I’m sorry for ever thinking that me proving myself to be right was more important than our relationship.

At the end of the day, I know that relationships with people are worth so much more than proving to them that they're wrong.

There’s a time for everything, and I’m not insinuating that we should never speak our minds and opinions to others or our loves ones and that we should agree with everything they’ve ever said. Don’t do that, because that would be wrong too.

What I am saying is that truth must be spoken in love, at the right time, with the right motive.

This issue is a near and dear to me because I have seen way too many of my loved ones hurt by other people, sometimes by the people closest to them, because those people wanted to prove a point, and they did it without even hearing the other party out, which causes the other party to feel stupid and unimportant. And to make things worse, they often put the other person down harshly. They may have won the argument, but the relationship they have with that person becomes damaged and many times, broken.

We’ve all had this happen to us, and we’ve all been guilty of doing this to others. From experience, we all know that there is no winner in this situation.

The good news is we can start mending our relationships -- present and future ones -- now by being better listeners in our conversations with others. Here's some food for thought: What is that person trying to tell you? Why are they feeling this way? What can I do, or what can I say to help them understand my point of view without hurting their esteem or making them feel worthless?

If you are currently in a situation where you are on the receiving end of this, where you have a person in your life who you feel fails to listen to you and understand your feelings, then please take my advice: Forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing. Seriously, that person most likely doesn’t even know that they’re failing to listen. If you fail to forgive, you start building up invisible walls around yourself and you start breaking down internally - and guess what, you begin to treat other people the same hurtful way that you feel you’ve been treated.

Second of all, pray for them. Don’t try to rebel against this person or take revenge - you’ll ultimately lose the relationship you once had with this person if you do. Instead, seek God for opportunities to explain to tell them that they’re not listening to you and why that’s hurtful. They may deny it, but trust me, they’ll start thinking about what you’ve said, and hopefully, that will get them to start self-evaluating their attitudes.

Finally, continue being a good friend to them. It’s dreadfully hard, I know, but in showing them that you care, that you listen, and that you’re willing to share your opinions and thoughts with the right attitude, it will get them thinking. It really will. Because they’ll notice that you’re different from them - that you’re always calm, you’re never out to win an argument just because, and that you are loving and selfless. That’s something that’s rare and hard to find.

Don’t worry though -- we all make mistakes from time to time, and sometimes the same ones over and over again. But the love and mercy that God has graciously shown us should be what ultimately compels us to love others and see that our relationships with people far outweigh the importance of winning an argument that ultimately won’t matter in 50 years.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.ikojoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Father-dad-yelling-at-daughter-conflict-fight-argument-jpg.jpg

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Gap Between Knowledge And Action

Let's talk about action. There seems to be a mass phenomenon of disconnect between knowledge and action. Why is it that increased knowledge is not motivating people towards increased action.

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In the world today, there are all sorts of social and political movements. Though society has always been flawed with endless problems, people are more aware of these problems today than ever. The rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media has created a new social climate of awareness as a result of greater interconnectedness. But how is it that the public is growing more aware, yet nothing seems to be changing?

I began really thinking about this perplexity recently, as I listened to a TedTalk discussing global warming. According to public polling from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 70% of Americans agree that global warming is occurring. But according to the same polling, only 40% of Americans think climate change will affect them personally and are adjusting their lifestyles because of it. This is the gap between knowledge and action. Two-thirds of Americans acknowledge climate change, but only less than half are doing something about it. Something is being lost in translation, but what is it?

This phenomenon extends far beyond climate change though. Poverty. Hunger. Displacement. Lack of access to clean water. Sexual inequality. Like I said earlier, there are an endless array of problems the world faces, and we are more aware of them than ever, but how do we link knowledge and action?

We know that most issues that have risen due to globalization, affect the people who contribute to the problem the least, the most. Global warming is disproportionately affecting those in poverty who can't afford to recover from wildfires in California, stronger hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, or increasingly severe droughts in Syria. People in Flint, Michigan or Karachi, Pakistan lack clean water because of the actions of people far richer than themselves. Is a lack of personal victimization the reason? Is raised awareness and stagnant action a symptom of a bigger issue of lacking compassion or are people just lazy?

As a nineteen-year-old college student, maybe I'm naïve, but I refuse to believe that the U.S. and global, society as a whole is lacking in action because they are lacking in compassion or because third world problems "are not their problems." Philosopher, Christopher Heath Wellman, put it best when saying to "[n]otice how awkward it is to protest that those of us who are privileged cannot be obligated to change the system because we are impotent in the face of its enormity, while simultaneously suggesting that those who are starving to death are entitled to no assistance because they are responsible for the political and economic institutions which led to their ruin" in regards to world hunger.

You may be thinking, "OK but how can I make a difference, as just one person?" What Wellman meant in his quote was that you alone cannot make a difference for people starving in another country, but neither can they. It's only when we come together as a society and commit to action can we overcome these issues. Perhaps this is my Global Studies major speaking, but we are all citizens of the world, not just citizens of the U.S. and we must allow our compassion accordingly. No one has any choice in where, what circumstances, or what society they are born into so to refuse action which would help victims of circumstance would be an ignorant form of elitism.

This problem isn't exclusively on the national and global scale either; everyday people see problems in their personal lives and yet, only a small minority take action. Take, for example, people who stress about procrastination, but never change their time management habits. People who make the same New Year's Resolution every year because they never follow suit. Smokers who want to quit but don't try. Students who complain about poor grades but don't make time to study. Even in our own personal lives, knowledge rarely seems to prompt action.

I don't have an easy fix for this. And I don't hold the solutions to global warming, poverty, hunger, lack of access to clean water, or sexual inequality. But I do know that it doesn't need to be this way. It's often said that recognizing you have an issue is half the battle, the next half is action. Every day, our knowledge of the world and everything which inhabits it is increasing, the time for action is now. If we all, individually, take it upon ourselves to care for one another and work towards a better world, in small ways, I believe that together, we can make anything a reality.

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