TO EACH HIS OWN….WAY
TO EACH HIS OWN…..WAY
Elizabeth Willis Barrett…………….June 2017
A couple of weeks ago, some of my grandkids were spending the night and I was helping them say their night prayers. Each of the four knelt down, then put their heads on the floor by their hands. That sounds a bit odd. The way I’m describing it, it sounds like they actually took their heads off and put them on the floor. But that’s not what I mean. They were kneeling like I picture those of the Islam faith kneeling. And I, being me, said, “That’s not how we kneel. Kneel up. We’re talking to Heavenly Father. He doesn’t want you lying down when you pray.”
As is often the case, those words came back to bite me. (I have many bite marks from a lifetime of stray words.) I was kindly and patiently told by their mother, who happens to be my daughter, that that is how they pray at their house as a family and aren’t I glad that they’re praying together. I am. Very.
Telling someone how to pray is not my place, even if I was trying to be an instructional grandmother. When I looked up pictures of people kneeling in prayer on Google Images, I found that there are many different ways to kneel and pour out supplication to a loving God. My way is not the only and right way.
Don’t we all tend to think that our way is the right way? After all, we wouldn’t think like we do if we thought we were wrong. Right?
I’ve always thought the toilet paper roll should unwind from the bottom, not the top. That is how I was raised. It snaps better that way. I’ve since discovered that my family is in the minority and for a reason. If you’re wearing a ring, it tends to hit the wall when the roll comes off the bottom. I was informed of that by a helpful roommate who didn’t like it when I’d switch the TP roll my way.
There are reasons for people thinking like they do. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. We can’t possibly think alike under such varied circumstances.
According to Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People, we can get along better when we try to view a situation from another’s viewpoint. One of my good friends took the time to sit down with Brad and really listen to his reasons for being a Democrat. No one had bothered to do that before. They were too busy rolling their eyes and telling him he was wrong. That friend has become a very highly admired friend to Brad, too, because she took the time to see where he was coming from.
So whether it be in how we pray, hang toilet paper, fry eggs, teach, communicate or vote, we do things our way and it is so appreciated when we let others do things their way.
I’m working on it.