I love the Buddhist teaching that says something to the effect that you have no right to speak into someone else’s life unless they invite you to do so. I think of it often when I hear about people making demands on others, or when I read about people needing to ‘voice their opinion’ to someone about something they have not been extended an invitation to speak about.
It is human nature to want others to believe what we do. It makes us somehow more ‘right’ when we have a posse backing us. But… why do we need to tell others how to live their lives? They are the ones ultimately responsible for their decisions. They are the ones who will either reap the rewards or pay the price for those choices.
I’m not talking about a friend who comes and asks a question or wonders about your beliefs in an open and easy forum. I’m talking about the one who writes you a letter to tell you you’re living wrong. Or the friend who has to make sure you know they don’t approve of your lifestyle. Who are any of us to tell someone else how to live?
I have a lot of friends and it would be foolish to think we all believe and live the same way. And… I LOVE that. How much more rich my life is for those who I don’t see eye to eye with. How much more robust and intriguing to learn from those who think differently than me.
All I know to say is….please…. Before you decide someone else needs to adjust their life so it looks more like yours ask this question, did they ask your opinion? If not….maybe it’d be better just to be glad you get to know them. And I would submit there is a very good possibility they have a view you’ve never even considered. And that idea…..may end up making Your life better!