“Come to Texas with me.” I ask my brother who has remained loyal to the hills of Arkansas where we grew up. This plea is always matched with a sarcastic response that hides a little sincerity. “I can’t. I don’t have a passport.” Fine then. I smile.
Even better was the time I started dating an older man. “Sister, are you trying to ask me if it’s okay? Ain’t nothing wrong with it. You’re both grown.” “Well, yes brother because I really like him. I went to visit him yesterday in Texas.” His response, “Wait a minute, are you telling me he’s from Texas? Sister, I’m gonna need a little bit of time to process this. Let me call you back.” And… he hung up.
Like it or not, there’s always a Texan. My Arkansas associates roll their eyes every time I sign up a new contract down south and my fans let me know that posting videos of my first football game on social media, which happened to be a Longhorns’ victory, was not acceptable. And yet, there is always a Texan. Like it or not.
In fact, there are always going to be people we don’t agree with. Things we don’t like. Situations that hurt us. But when it comes down to the truth of the matter, we still must be kind. Recently, my good friend complained honestly, “I just don’t like the new guy! He doesn’t even try. He’s lazy and not very bright.” Fair enough. “Can you change him?” No. “Can you beat him up?” Obviously, no. “Will retaliating with angry words make the situation better?” Probably not. “Then why not be nice?” Seems like that is the only reasonable thing within your power to do.
I have been guilty of feeling sorry for myself when people have done me wrong or treated me unfairly. But after a marathon of Disney movies and hours of self-pity, there is never resolution. I can’t make people be kind or loyal, but I CAN BE loyal, honest and kind. How I treat and respond to others is within my scope of control and is certainly my responsibility.
To put it simply, you will always be faced with situations and people you don’t agree with for whatever reason, but don’t be a jerk. Some things will never change, but you may be surprised how glad you are to realize that… there is always a challenge. Always an opportunity to behave better. There is always a Texan.