What It Really Means To Be The Bigger Person

What It Really Means To Be The Bigger Person

A lesson on letting go and apologizing.

No one ever denied that apologies can be incredibly difficult -- especially when you know you’re right, the other person is completely kidding themselves and at fault, and you just can’t get over your big ego. But the lesson of being “the bigger person,” though it is as old as time, still remains valid and deserves to be taught time and time again.

Can you think of a feud from years ago that might have ended a friendship? Can you think of someone you feel uncomfortable talking to because you still think they owe you an apology? Can you maybe even think of something you’ve done wrong but still haven’t apologized for because it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it?

Let’s just be really blunt with ourselves for a minute or two. No matter how many Facebook statuses you post about being “a princess,” or being a woman (which means you’re never wrong), or how stupid, lying and cheating everyone else in the world can be, the fact of the matter is you’re not always right. Sorry, sweetie.

Of course this doesn’t just go for women because in any argument between anyone, there is rarely someone who is completely right and someone who is completely wrong. As the saying goes, there are always three sides to every story: your side, my side and the truth.

That person that you aren’t talking to -- can you imagine what they might be saying about you right now? How you are at fault, or how rude you might have been to them? Do you think there might just be a shred of truth in all of that that you could apologize for? Because, more than likely, there is.

All sass aside, let’s get to the point. What does it really mean to be the bigger person? The answer is very simple. Being the bigger person means realizing that you actually aren’t always right, that you sometimes deserve to give an apology as much as you deserve to receive one and that being able to set aside your ego and take the five minutes to apologize to someone is worth much more than years of argument.

Really, that’s all it takes! If you set aside just a few minutes to swallow your pride and apologize, sincerely and truthfully, you can show yourself just how strong you are and how much you value that person’s friendship. It’s important to realize, first and foremost, that a mended relationship is worth being wrong for a minute and listening carefully and dutifully to the other side of the story.

Arguments happen, and they can be detrimental and hurtful: ending relationships, causing bitterness and defining scars in the history of that relationship. But it’s so vital to understand that if you let a relationship end because of an argument, you’re letting that argument win. However, if you choose to grow and learn from that argument, strengthening that relationship, then you’ve overcome that pettiness and turned an argument into something positive.

Never be afraid to apologize first. It will sting your ego, sure, but there is something so profoundly graceful about doing something you hate for someone you love.

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21 Things I've Learned By 21

16.) You'll never be too old to call your mom for help.

My 21st birthday is on March 23rd so I decided to make a list of the 21 things I have learned in the last 21 years! Enjoy!

1.) Know EXACTLY what you want and don't settle for anything less.

2.) Focus more on learning how to love yourself.

3.) It is okay to cut toxic people out of your life.

4.) Every now and then, step out of your comfort zone, it will always make for something great.

5.) Make decisions fast, the universe loves speed, even if you don't.

6.) Find what you love and let it kill you.

7.) Timing has a lot to do with everything in this world.

8.) Always tell your friends and family that you love them because tomorrow is never promised.

9.) Pay more attention to your thoughts, they mean more to you than you realize.

10.) Your feelings are ALWAYS valid, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

11.) Stop making time for people that don't make time for you.

12.) Not everyone is going to like you, and that's okay.

13.) Give it your all or don't give it at all.

14.) You've already survived 100% of your bad days.

15.) Failing is okay, only as long as you learn from your mistakes.

16.) You'll never be too old to call your mom for help.

17.) Surround yourself with people who support you, you deserve that.

18.) When words fail, music speaks.

19.) If you think of something, do it, or someone else is going to.

20.) You're never too important to be nice to people.

21.) Life is so much better when nobody knows what you're up to.

I've learned a lot in my short 21 years of life and I'm only excited to see what else I learn in the years to come. Bring on 21!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/backdrop-background-birthday-birthday-decoration-631497/

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10 Children's Books With Lessons Some Of Us Adults Could Afford To Learn

Books like these are timeless for a reason.

This semester at Miami, I decided to take a course in children's literature. After hearing great things about the teacher and the course readings, I was excited to take the course, but I definitely assumed it would be an easy GPA boost. What I didn't expect, however, was that these "easy" children's books were actually ones that were still incredibly relevant to my life today. That's why I'm choosing to share 10 books and the lessons they teach that could benefit all grownups today.

1. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

One of the first lessons kids learn as they approach adulthood is how to act and behave in a "civilized" and grown-up world. But what the wild Max teaches us is that sometimes it's okay to engage in a "wild rumpus" and that it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Furthermore, even when we argue with our families (like Max and his mom), they will always love us and take care of us when we come back from our hectic and crazy ways.

2. "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White

Though an unlikely duo, Charlotte and Wilbur teach everyone the importance of true friendship, the kind that both gives and takes. Most of all, true friendship does not judge, but rather comes when we love unconditionally and accept each other's faults. Though Charlotte admits to killing for food and eating blood, Wilbur still loves her for her many qualities. And while as humans our faults aren't as extreme, we could learn something from these two.

3. "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbitt

Doing what is right is not always easy. And while Winnie learns this when she must free her friends from certain death, Babbitt also teaches us something else. Even though death is scary and immortality is often desired, "Tuck Everlasting" teaches us that every phase of life is as important and as necessary as it is inevitable. So instead of fearing adulthood and becoming an elder, embrace it, and live every day as if it were your last.

4. "Holes" by Louis Sachar

Even when fate, destiny, and a family curse all work against Stanley Yelnats and Zero, they never once blame their choices and consequences on the past. Instead, these two misfits teach all of us to take responsibility for our choices and defend our actions. Blaming others doesn't get us anywhere.

5. "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

Despite cruel foster homes, the loss of his mother, poverty, and homelessness, Bud (not Buddy) faces all odds to find his forever home. And while some would consider his admittedly overactive imagination a hindrance, it is this very childlike naivety and innocence that keeps him going during the hard times. As grown-ups, it's important to embrace this same innocence at times to ensure that we too have the strength to continue on in the face of extreme adversity.

7. "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

While I was surprised this was on our syllabus, Katniss Everdeen epitomizes strength and resilience. She teaches us the necessity of courage and the love that we should all exhibit in defending those we love, albeit in shockingly dystopian circumstances.

8. "Watership Down" by Richard Adams

Choosing to go against the status quo is never easy. While it could cause you to lose some fickle friends, in the end, always do what's right. The world may think you're insane like Fiver and Hazel, but, in the end, have confidence in knowing that you followed your heart.

9. "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine

If you had no choice but to obey every command you were ever given, no matter how ridiculous or how cruel, like Ella, you would value independence no matter the cost. As adults, we have a taste of this independence, but sometimes we take it for granted. Ella reminds us that it's important to appreciate it and, if need be, to fight for it.

10. "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

Being numb and desensitized to the things around us is exactly what Lowry warns us against in "The Giver." While many would argue that ignorance is bliss, this story proves that knowledge is power. In the face of so many tragedies in such a tumultuous modern society, we should always choose to learn and to understand, no matter how painful that is.

I've really enjoyed rereading these books because not only do they bring back happy memories of being read to when I was a kid, but they also have taught me essential life lessons over again. I'd recommend each of these books to the adult reader because they are timeless and can teach us vital lessons no matter how old we are.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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