Sunday, September 21, 2008

Idiom Series Septa

Lucky number 7.

"I want what's best for you."

I've been thinking about this one for awhile. It seems to pop up pretty regularly in conversations I hear between educators and students, parents and children, friends and people in relationships. "I want what's best for you." It forces me to think about what that person is saying and I have come to the conclusion that it is somewhat bullshit.

A person who is saying this to you isn't really (for the most part) saying what they really think they are saying. Sure, the person you hear it from may REALLY want what is best for you but their vision of this and your vision are usually different things. They want what is best for you to be for you to fulfill some image or idea that they WANT for you to do or become. They want you to become this potential person that exists in their head. This person, although great, may not be you or even remotely who you want to be. They desire you to be satisfied with a life that they choose for you, if you want it or not.

I'm not taking anything from the thought process and emotional attachment behind this statement and the goodwill that it is usually said with but there exists a better statement. A statement that really conveys that this person cares about you and it isn't about you fulfilling this role they have created for you in their mind.

I want you to be happy.

This simple statement is very similar to the one this Idiom Series entry is about without the burden of becoming someone that you might not be or even want to be. It also fulfills the emotional element that someone who truly cares about you would want to convey.

So, next time those words begin to bubble out of your mouth- PAUSE. Think about what you are really saying and what you truly want from that person in front of you. If you want them to become this person in your head and settle for a life you planned out for them, go right ahead and say it. If you really care that this person is enjoying and living life to the fullest, then say the other statement and mean it.

I mean, because at the end of the day I just want you to be happy. Seriously.

Next in Series- TBD