Source Material - Where Do We Get This Stuff?

Last March This I Believe published my essay, The Stories We Tell Ourselves. SInce then I've been asking myself, "Where do my beliefs come from?"

This archaelogical dig inside my head has unearthed a plethora of influences. The most notable of course are my parents. I intend to write about them later.

For now I want to talk about my friend, Sam Marques. Years ago, Sam said something to the effect that "only people who are hurting, hurt others."

I was deeply moved by this insight. In my This I Believe essay I wrote that I believe people live into the stories they tell themselves. Since then, with that in mind, whenever someone behaves in a hurtful manner toward me I make every effort not to respond in kind.

For hurt begets hurt begets hurt and the cycle perpetuates itself.

Stephen M. R. Covey offers a great response in his book, The Speed of Trust.

1. Ask, "Have I done something to make you think I mean you harm?

If, yes, "I apolgize; that was not my intention."

Either way, yes or no, "Please, do not do that again."

I happen to feel the best thing I have to offer people is my company. I don't hang around people who hurt me.

By the same token, I don't want to be someone who hurts others.

Hence thanks to Sam when I experience the cycle of hurt, it stops with me.

Thank you, Sam and Stephen, the world's a better place for y'all's insight and influence.