“When you know better, you do better.” -Oprah via Maya Angelou
Anyone who knows me well, can attest to how hard I am on myself. Though I am gentler on others, especially as I get older, there have been many times that I have been frustrated, thinking a person “knew better” than to make the same mistakes over and over. But the above quote reminds us that, no, a person does not know better or they truly would do better. Everyone learns at their own pace. This is a benevolent way of thinking and not the default thought process for many of us. Too often, we jump to conclusions. If I can remind myself of the fact that the individual does not know better, I suddenly feel more merciful and less judgmental.
The question came up, “What do you know better today than you did a year ago?”
Today, I know better than to assume anything about the future. I know that what I think I know, may change a year from now.
I know that loneliness and grief are real, but they do not have to swallow us whole. I know that having faith in another person doesn’t actually change them. No matter how long we hope and stay positive, we cannot control the outcome of another human’s process. I know that an optimist and a pessimist do not make a very good couple.
I know that blame is a weapon only fools wield.
I know that my daughter actually does love and appreciate me. I know that I am a real mother and that no matter what my copious critics say, they can never change that fact. The court and my child have made it so; no other opinions matter. I know what I always suspected: that tough love has endeared her closer to me than she is with anyone else…except to my mother, who has a gift with children.
I know that my oldest sister came back from the proverbial, narcotic, dead, if only for this season. The future is unknown. I know that she proved herself to me when she was in her right mind and able to know better. I know that when I am convulsing in tears on the side of the road, she will find a way rescue me, even though she has nothing but her own strength to give.
I know what it feels like to have a Bachelor’s Degree and the sense of belonging in a certain field. Though I thought I would only be a writer, I now know the world of television. I know that getting a job right out of college isn’t as hard as people say (getting a good paying job is another story).
I know that starting over can happen at any given time. I know that the best laid plans always fail. God has a plan for me that doesn’t involve my previous plans. He’s been whispering to me for the past year, all that I’ve forgotten along with my childhood aspirations.
I know that I am meant to live the Truth and that when I lose sight of it, I will be very abruptly reminded, not always in a negative way. I know that we can avoid our intuition all we want, but it will always win.
What do you know better today than you did a year ago?