Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 26, 2010

My Way or the Highway

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

The expression “my way or the highway” suggests an ultimatum.  It is an attitude that you can do it my way or else you are excluded.  It could even suggest a spirit of  “get out of my way.”

Unfortunately, I have known people with that attitude.  I have seen it in leaders, and I have seen it in counseling in marital relationships. 

I observed this spirit recently as I sat at the mall and watched some folks go by.  You could tell by the body language and sometimes even in the tone of voice used to communicate to the spouse, friend, or child walking with them.

But I have seen it at Walmart.  Two couples passed by.  One older couple was holding hands, smiling at one another, while the other couple were frowning at one another, being rude in their facial expressions, and one speaking in a loud condescending voice.

Think for a moment about people with that attitude toward one another.  I have to describe them as rude and unkind.  And you can be the recipient of that spirit, even as a stranger.  I have!  It was at Walmart! 

I pushed my shopping cart down the aisle.  Then she came!  She was coming straight toward me.  I didn’t have room to move over.  The aisle was too congested.  I looked up with a smile, anticipating a gesture that would show courtesy.  I anticipated that we would smile with non-verbal communication that we would each give so we could pass.

Oh, no, not with that lady!  She came as if she was driving an armored truck or a bulldozer.  It was an attitude I saw.  “Get out of my way!”  It was a demonstration of “my way or else . . .”  And with a frown on her face and a spirit of retreat on mine, she passed me. She had no intentions of waiting, being polite, or courteous.

Sometimes, people with that spirit become leaders in a group or society.  Their leadership style is one of a dictator.  I will not suggest why I believe some develop this spirit, but I do say watch out for them. They are often just daring you to challenge them.  Life’s not worth it!  Let such people pass.  Smile, and express a word of courtesy to them. 

I often mumble to myself, “Whatever happened to the golden rule?”  Now, I know.  It has been replaced by “My way or the highway.”

There is a cure for rudeness and unkindness . . . and being dictatorial and mean.  I could certainly be that way if I had not discovered that Christ changes a life . . . which includes behavior, attitude, and personality.  Jesus has a better way!

“Be kind and compassionate to one another . . . .”  (Ephesians 4:32)  “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought . . . .”  (Romans 12:3)  “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy . . . .”  (James 3:17)



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