“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
I stand at the kitchen counter making two large salads—one for Jane’s and one for my lunch.
As I add a handful of the protein-packed light green beans, I ponder, “is edamame the name of the bean?”
I don’t know.
Is edamame a kind of bean?
And why don’t I know?
The friendly Trader Joe’s packaging informs me that my snack is shelled soybeans with salt.
I notice that the rating on some internal, mental scale has just plummeted.
Edamame is now associated with plastic.
A rose by any other name may not smell as sweet—nor a bean taste as good.
I liked edamame better before learning this thing I didn’t know.
But, and this will bring us to the point of this article, I didn’t get upset at myself for not knowing.
Do you ___(frequently/often/sometimes/never)___ get mad at yourself for not knowing something you thought you should have known?
Do you ___(frequently/often/sometimes/never)___ hear the voice of an inner critic telling you that you ought to have done or been different than what you did or who you were?
Oughtn’t we stop doing either?
How fair is it to hold ourselves responsible for that which we don’t know?
You ought not be held accountable for things like this that exist outside of your control.
And, Beloved, the same for others.
How are they supposed to be held responsible for doing something when they didn’t know better?
It isn’t fair to fault those who didn’t know better.
Edamame, winds up, aren’t regular ol’ soybeans.
Edamame are whole, immature soybeans, sometimes referred to as “vegetable-type soybeans.”
Knowing this upgraded my estimation of the snack back to where it had been.
Until more research revealed that many of the nutrients present in the green snack are diminished compared to their further-ripened counterparts, the golden-yellow mature bean.
And down went my estimation again.
Do you ___(frequently/often/sometimes/never)___ quickly change your estimation of people and things?
Do you ___(frequently/often/sometimes/never)___ find yourself going from being annoyed to finding a situation intolerable?
Do you wish you could more easily move from being annoyed to being amused?
You just might not have known how.
(And, as previously mentioned, we forgive ourselves for our unknowingness.)
Let me teach you.
How to ___(frequently/often)___ move from being annoyed to being amused, as opposed to moving from being annoyed to being intolerant.
Y22H is a four-step plan I like that reminds me of the steps to changing something.
- Why change
- What 2 change
- What 2 change to
- How to cause that change
In more words:
- Why change. We know that what we have been doing is no longer working for us.
- What 2 change: Ourselves and our attitude.
- What 2 change to: We set our sights on being more compassionate.
- How to cause that change: We practice doing it.
Let’s follow along:
- Beating up on ourselves or others for a lack of knowledge is not right.
- We believe we are capable—even if we don’t do it perfectly at first—of change
- We forgive ourselves and others when it seems like a better alternative was available.
- Practice. Practice. Compassion. Practice.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”