If you know me at all, you probably know what a big fan I am of Survivor. I’ve loved that show for so long I can’t remember life without it. Usually, it’s simply an enjoyably entertaining hour – spent with my family. We love to pick our favorites and battle it out along with them. Seldom do we ever pause the television to discuss something profound. Many great family conversations have been kindled by Survivor (as well as The Biggest Loser and similar shows), but they’re usually no deeper than a glass of iced tea.
However, last night, something one of the players said caused a few of us to sort of pause, look at one another and – literally – take a few minutes to allow it to sink in. The player in question is one of my, as well as my oldest daughter Emily’s, favorite player: Coach. He was nuttier than a squirrel’s breakfast when he was on Survivor before, but he’s coming across as intelligent, insightful, and Spiritual this time around.
And he wears it well.
He’s also thinking circles around the other players. Some of the things he has figured out has left us asking each other, “How’d he know that?” Anyway, it’s shaping up to be one of the funnest seasons ever.
Last night, Coach was talking to another contestant, Cochran. Cochran is a highly educated and intelligent young man. Athletic? Not a chance? On top of his social game? Far from it. He’s decidedly off beat – so far off that one wonders if he’d recognize a beat. On his team, Cochran was apparently picked on unmercifully. After the merge, Coach told Cochran that he understood what it was like to be superior to other people in some ways (such as being intelligent), and to KNOW you are. He went on to say, in his own way, that people will often perceive that you are intelligent and will, therefore, look for weaknesses in other areas to exploit – in an attempt to bring you down to their level.
Some of the guys on Cochran’s team knew he was smarter than them (OBVIOUSLY, given a few decisions, but that’s another story!). Rather than allow themselves to feel inferior to someone with a higher IQ, they found weaknesses and harped away at them.
It’s the sort of thing that happens in life on a daily basis, isn’t it? People automatically know when someone has something “up” on them, so they look for flaws and mistakes as though there were a reward for finding them. There’s no prize for fault-finding. If there were, there wouldn’t possibly be enough prizes to go around.
I think Coach’s assessment is important to realize, and to keep in mind, no matter which side of the equation we find ourselves on. We’ll sometimes be the one with more on the ball and we’ll sometimes be the one unaware there IS a ball. Been there. To a very real extent, we should focus the majority of our energy, time, and mindset on where we are in life. Are WE the best individual we can be and are we doing the best WE can. Don’t fall into the trap of worrying so much about what this person is doing or what that person isn’t doing.
Take care of the only person you can or even have the right to control… yourself. Never try to pull anyone down to your level or try to lift yourself higher by stepping on another. By the same token, if someone consistenly seems to pick at you..
- Avoid them if at all possible.
- If you can’t avoid them, realize that they may be trying to knock you down because, deep down, they feel inferior.
Another lesson most definitely played out last night as well. Cochran’s original team seemed to be the team to beat. They had SO much going for them. But they failed to get along with one another. There was FAR too much fault-finding and dissension. The way you treat people MATTERS, and if you don’t see it today, you will tomorrow.
A strong player was voted off last night and it all came down to the way he treated others. One of the players on Coach’s team (Brandon) pointed it out after the votes were cast. What goes around comes around.
Our words, as well as the way we treat others, are like boomerangs. We think we can hurl them into the air without repercussions – until, that is, they come back and smack us upside the head. The Golden Rule says to treat others the way you want to be treated. I take it even further than that. I try to treat others as I’d want my family to be treated. When an older person is driving in front of me, I never get on their bumper because I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to do that to my older family members.
If a young cashier or server is struggling with something, I’m as patient as I’d want people to be with the young people I love. This morning, a man at my grocery store was as lost as Judas, wandering aisles, looking at his list, then blankly at the aisles. It occurred to me that if my husband were in that boat, I’d want someone to lead him to the shore – especially if I were waiting to make supper! So I asked him if he needed help finding anything. He said, “Where would vinegar be?,” and I pointed him in the right direction. The grateful guy (with a wife at home sick) said he’d been walking in circles for 10 minutes.
I wondered how many people had seen him without helping. Granted, I also wondered how you couldn’t find vinegar in 10 minutes, but I didn’t tell him that. He had a Chicago Cubs jacket on, so he has suffered enough.
It boggles the mind to think what the world would be like today if everyone treated others as they’d want their spouses, children, and parents to be treated.
One final word. Our every word and our every action have the same origin: Our thoughts. Before one person is a complete jerk to another person, he harbors negative, mean thoughts. Before one person says something completely mean and hurtful, he thinks mean and hurtful things. When we learn to plant positive and constructive seeds in our mind, we’ll grow positive and constructive words and actions.
Shouldn’t that be everyone’s goal?