See the positive, understand the gain

I do not live my life in a typical way. Of course, what is “typical”, but here it tends to mean that those around me whose lives intersect with mine in some meaningful way… my life doesn’t follow their same patterns.

I get a lot of grief and backlash because of it.

Overall I don’t mind because I am generally fine with the choices I make for myself and my family. But I cannot deny that it gets old constantly dealing with it.

People cannot accept me as I am (and disagree), they must agree with me (meaning what I do must intersect with their choices, outlook, morals, ethics, etc.)… else somehow I’m the one that’s fucked up.

I do understand this mentality and approach, it’s very human. It’s how we tend to deal with that which is “different”.

I guess what gets really old is where people focus their attention: they focus on what they see as wrong, instead of what they could see is right.

For example, our choice to homeschool our kids. People focus on the “S” word… socialization. Won’t your kids miss out? Won’t they have friends? What about as they get older, prom? Oh, I feel so bad for all the things your kids won’t get to do.

And that’s what so many people focus on, and the only thing they see: what they won’t do. Or rather, what they perceive they won’t do.

They don’t see the wonderful education. They don’t see the options in teachers and curriculum. They don’t see our kids are actually learning, not just learning how to take a test. They are developing, not just trying to pad their achievement list to compete for college entry. They don’t see the lessons they learn in how to interact with people of all ages. They don’t see the leadership taken on by the older children as they help the younger children. They don’t see how instead of spending all day locked in a classroom, eyes front, stop being creative, conform, do as you are told… that they can have freedom, they can efficiently complete their work then spend the remainder of their day exploring other avenues (how else did Daughter get to be such a great artist?). The list can go on.

So many people are concerned about what we miss out on, they don’t realize themselves what they are missing out on in their perceptions. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do in life, you cannot have it all. You will not experience everything, and there’s going to be far more things you will miss out on than you will experience. Instead of focusing on what you miss out on, why not focus on what you are gaining?

We don’t make the choices in our life because we want to miss out on things. No, we make choices because we see an overall gain. Oh sure, there may be some downsides to the choice, but we only choose to do things if in the end it’s a net gain. Why is this constantly overlooked? Why are we looked at for what we’re losing, instead of what we’re gaining?

We should not overlook loss, negatives, downsides, etc.; these are important aspects of the evaluation process. What needs to be remembered is they are not the only things to look at; you must look at the gains and upsides too. You must remember that if someone makes a choice, they likely did it because they see the most benefit from that choice over all other possible choices. Seek to understand and see their (potential) gains, instead of merely dwelling on your own cognitive dissonance.

2 thoughts on “See the positive, understand the gain

  1. “I get a lot of grief and backlash because of it.”

    I’m curious, from whom?

    PS, this is Groundhog. Have not commented using new blog id yet.

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