My sister and I had a fantastic conversation yesterday about how to make the world a better place.
I can’t stop thinking about it, so I decided to share it.
We talked about life and our specific circumstances. What we are doing, what people are telling us to do, and how it matters in the long run. The conclusion we came to has given both of us peace. Maybe it’ll offer you some too.
My sister is finishing up her Master’s Degree in accounting. I really don’t know how she does it.
She enjoys what she’s learning but is troubled by people’s comments. It’s amazing how many people manage to tell her what she should do with her life. Most of these people she hardly knows at all.
“You NEED to work for one of the BIG FOUR,” “you need to work your way up the ladder,” “you need to work in a big city and get experience,” the list goes on and on. The advice she always gets is to move forward, with more education, more working hours, working for a bigger firm, and working in a bigger city.
She’s exhausted and tired of people telling her she hasn’t “made it” unless she does x, y, or z. In fact, she’s really tired of people telling her that everything she’s done up until this point is worthless if she doesn’t do x, y, or z. She knows herself and her accomplishments have more value than that.
What my sister wants to do is finish up school and find a job that suits her. Something simple; not necessarily prestigious. Knowing her, she would be much happier living in a small town and working a job she’s comfortable in with people she enjoys. She’d like to have time to take a quiet walk in the evenings, cook good food, and hang out with her family.
But she keeps getting told that’s not good enough. She’s hamstringing herself because she will never be able to climb the ladder. She thought though, maybe climbing the ladder isn’t the most important thing in life.
That brought about our conversation.
As a nurse, I’ve had people tell me similar things. You HAVE to get a Bachelor’s Degree. You HAVE to work in a hospital. You HAVE to work in the ER or ICU. You HAVE to go on to get your Master’s… and it continues.
Just so I’m clear, the people that have done those things are fantastic people. They probably have different goals in life than I do, and I commend them for their accomplishments.
The problem comes when other people comment about what the best thing to do in your own life is.
If I would have listened to those people, I wouldn’t have the precious moments I’ve been able to spend with my daughter. I wouldn’t have started my own business and grown in so many ways as a mother and individual.
In fact, even as a mother people find a way to comment about the best way to do things. Whether it be breastfeeding versus formula, sleep schedules, where your baby should sleep, what school your kids should attend, even the toys they should play with.
It can make a person CRAZY with all the comments and opinions on what’s best for your life.
Ultimately, we decided this:
If you want to make the world a better place, go home and love your family.
“If you want to make the world a better place, go home and love your family.”
How to Make the World a Better Place
Everyone’s comments really don’t matter. And the funny thing is, even though they think they have the best solution for your life… they probably really don’t care what you do.
Your decisions don’t affect those that aren’t intimately connected with you. The people your decisions affect are yourself and your family. Those are the people you should lean on and ask for advice.
When my sister asked me what she should do, I didn’t even hesitate. She would be miserable working long hours, salaried, in a city where she doesn’t quite fit in. I told her as much and her breath of relief was proof. She just needed to hear words of approval.
She needed to hear those words from someone who loves her.
If it wasn’t for my family’s love and support, my days would be spent in a very different manner than they are now. Maybe I’ll never be a nurse manager at a distinguished hospital.
But being where I am makes me a joyful person, and I think the world needs more of those.
I certainly am better able to raise children of good character and be a good wife from the place I’m at. That will certainly make the world a better place faster than climbing the career ladder.
And along the way, I get to talk to moms from all walks of life. I’m available for them during their breastfeeding journey. I certainly wouldn’t have that opportunity if I’d listened to what everyone said is best for me.
So, hold your head high and make the decisions you know keep you sane and true to yourself. Take people’s comments with a grain of salt, and lean on the people who love you when you need to make decisions about where your life heads.
And at the end of the day, go home and love your family. That’s the best way to make this world a better place.
Want to learn more about me? Check out my website, www.littlebearcare.com. I love helping mommies and babies breastfeed, and talk about all things mommy on my blog.