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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Are you a builder, or a destroyer?

So my 5 year old is fascinated with destroying things (thanks to Lego Batman on the Wii). We have had many conversations recently about why we would rather "build" than destroy. He can't seem to grasp why destroying things is bad..."but Mami, I would rebuild it!" he says to me. Wow...the innocence of a 5 year old and the ability to quickly rebuild the lego creation he has made.
It got me thinking though...I was watching a TV show where one young lady was talking badly about another young lady, and it hit me what she was doing was, in essence, destroying.
We as girls, or women, no matter our age have opportunities EVERYDAY to build or destroy others. We all know the destroyers, the girls who are unkind to others to their face, or behind their backs. The girls who gossip and talk about another girl who isn't as pretty as, as well dressed as, or as WHATEVER as they are. The girls who pointedly ignore another girl, when it would be so easy to include her in their conversation....YES we all know these girls, and I would be willing to wager we have all BEEN that girl at some point in time. Its so easy to whisper to a friend about another girls hideous haircut, or giggle about how bad her make-up is that day. Its so easy to get mad at a friend and tell someone else secrets about them that you know will break their heart to be found out.
Its easy to destroy!
We all know the builders too, those girls that make a point of talking to everyone, who have a smile for every person who walks by. Those girls who we get SO irritated with sometimes because they won't talk bad about anyone...even though we are. We know the girls who make a point of complimenting a shy girl, or drawing the new girl into a conversation. The girls who invite "that weird girl" to their party...just to be nice!
-- So ladies, which are you? Are you a builder? Do you make an effort to make each person feel like a better person when you are around, to never want to hurt or to be unkind? Are you the kind of person who finds ways to make people smile, and to serve those who are hurting? Or are you a destroyer? And if you are, what can you do to change it? I think we all have had moments where we have felt better about ourselves after someone else made a positive influence in our lives. How can YOU be THAT girl?
I personally know there have been times in my life where I destroyed a little, where I thought (like my 5 year old) that my words weren't going to be THAT big of a deal...and I could always fix the damage later, right? Wrong. You can never erase unkind actions or words...believe me, I have tried.
I remember one day when I was about 16 a guy had hurt me. This was a guy that everyone liked, but he was a jokester and teased unmercifully. I found out later that he had a little crush on me, and of course teased me even worse (stupid boys). Well, one day something that he said really hurt, and even though I KNEW he didn't mean it, I LET HIM HAVE IT! I didn't just tell him off, I did it in front of other people.  My words were cutting and sharp. I have always had a way with words and I used my intelligence to wound him, with an audience!
Gals, I will never forget the look on his face. It worked! He was hurt, and badly...and everyone was there to witness his "destruction". For about 30 seconds I felt elated, and vengeful- he got what he deserved, I thought. Then I saw his face.  I wished so hard that I could have taken those words back. We can do so much damage in just a short time span with hurtful words. Our "friendship" was never the same, and he was always very careful around me, not to talk much. I was a destroyer.
How much better would it have been, for me to swallow my anger and pride and talk to him later, in private and tell him that his teasing was bothering me. My words were painful for him, and I did it on PURPOSE!
I learned an important lesson that day, that speaking in anger and the heat of the moment, might be gratifying for a moment...but it inflicts long term scars. I always felt badly about my words- and never forgot them. And worse, other people remembered me for them. That's NOT how you want to be remembered, ya know? I would rather use my gift with words to help, and make others happy. I want to remember the faces of those I am around because of their happiness, not their hurt.
 Be A Builder
Find ways to brighten the world around you as much as you can. Bring a smile to those who are sad, and serve those in need. Make the world around you a better place and you will always be surrounded by friends and people that love you :)

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