Monday, October 08, 2007

Learning (Again) to Mind My Own Business

Proselytize \Pros"e*ly*tize\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. proselytized; p. pr. & vb. n. Proselytizing.]
To convert to some religion, system, opinion, or the like; to bring, or cause to come, over; to proselyte.

Some days, I do a pretty good job of minding my own business. As a spouse, parent, and homeowner, there's always something to do that keeps me busy, and out of other people's hair.

And sometimes, I discover new and shiny things (products, services, and information) that may be useful to my friends and loved ones. So, to me, it's perfectly natural to "share the wealth", so to speak.

However, every now and again, I've crossed the line between sharing information and proselytizing. Not from any desire to take over the unfortunate proselyte's (is that a word? lol!) life, or to make them feel like a failure, but out of an eagerness to share cool/useful info that I think may improve their life/make it easier/make it more enjoyable. I only have three words for myself when I do this:

STOP THAT STUFF (insert your own expletive here)!!!

I don't have enough wisdom and/or experience to play God.... I've seen His job, and I don't want it.

In addition, the unfortunate person feels pressured to accept my viewpoint, whether or not it is suitable to their lifestyle/interests/finances. Do I really want to do this? Do I really want a friend that does what I suggest, simply because I said it, without considering how such a thing fits into their life?

The short answer to all these questions is, "No."

So sometimes, sharing new and shiny information is its own reward. And maybe, just maybe, after I've done it myself, others will follow in my footsteps :-).

©2007 LaVeda H. Mason All Rights Reserved.


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