Why I Don’t Believe Older People, or 10 Cruel Truths They Forgot to Tell Me

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6) We don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive

I grew up in a prefab. Some neighbours on our floor had an argument. They don’t know why today, but since then they haven’t talked. Each remembers that it was him that was right and neither of them has apologised to the other. So why would they forgive each other? That’s their logic.

I thought this was ok. That I should deal with disputes with classmates and all my loves in the same way. But as the years passed I found that life becomes much simpler if we learn to accept all apologies that we did not get. No, that’s not a typo. No matter how another person injures us, the key, both to overcoming what they did and to our own happiness, is always to be thankful for every experience, both positive and negative. To be grateful means saying to the person: “Thank you for the lesson.”

The hatred and anger that bubble inside us are nothing more than a waste of our happiness, time and energy. As if we rented a plot of land in our head to an enemy and wanted them to remind us of the past throughout our life. By forgiving we get rid of this plot of land. Forgiveness is a promise—one that we only make to ourselves. By forgiving, we undertake that we will not use a past we cannot influence against the malleable present.

Forgiveness is not an amnesty that we provide to some bastard that hurt us. It has nothing to do with this. Forgiveness is a pardon we give to ourselves, a throwing away of our own trauma. And nobody has to apologise for what we want to stop suffering for.

7) Some people are just bad

“This is Béda, your new friend. Go and play with him,” said my parents, bringing their visitor’s son into my room. Then they sent me to a pioneer camp, where for five weeks I was supposed to befriend children I didn’t know at all and often had nothing in common with. I was nine and I cried a river.

I was supposed to work out that I should get on with everybody I encountered. That everybody must be my friend. That I must listen to everybody who is older. That was how my teachers were presented to me—I had to nod my head even if I didn’t agree with them.

I regard forced friendships and obligatory respect for those that did not deserve respect as a great crime against children. “You don’t play with him any more? But he’s such a nice boy. And his dad works at the ministry…!” I have goosebumps when I remember it. No, not all people have great personalities. In the same way, not all of them are good for us. We can only be as great as the people we surround ourselves with. If we want to be happy, we have to let the people that pull us down go. And, in the same way, we have no right to insist on a relationship with people we are holding back, that we are hurting and poisoning by saying they aren’t worth anything. We deserve the boot.

We are not all made of the same stuff. Let’s not get angry with those that prohibit us from being ourselves and claim that we aren’t good enough. They are evidently dealing with their own problems, otherwise they would not be sucking us dry and belittling us. As real friends they would honour the meaning of the phrases: the right to the truth, the right to make a mistake, the right to one’s own experience.

Let’s not maintain a link with every person at any cost. Let’s listen to our intuition. There are a lot of people in the world that can charge us with energy, inspire and support us, so that we are the best possible version of ourselves. It therefore makes no sense to pay attention to those that need to give expression to their envy, hatred and depression.

8) Nobody is obliged to like us

When I was young, I was told that nobody would like me unless I changed. I learned that I should not like myself the way I am, but I should try to be the way the people around me want me to be. I should have made myself useful, tried to be liked, otherwise I would not get good marks, a good job and a good dowry from my father-in-law.

It is important to be kind to others. But it is even more important to be kind to yourself. Therefore, please make sure that you aren’t judging yourself through another’s eyes. In particular those that cannot see your value and beauty. Surround yourself only with the people that like you the way you are. Meaning that they like you as error prone as you seem, as unattractive as you feel, as incomplete as you still are.

Let these people like you despite all this.

And, in return, ask them to allow you to continue to be yourself.

Then it’s a priceless relationship…

Are you interested in the last 2 ignored truths?

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