I think this is one of my sister’s favourite quotes:
“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
Remember this because it will happen many times in your life. When people show you who they are the first time believe them. Not the 29th. time. When a man doesn’t call you back the first time, when you are mistreated the first time, when someone shows you lack of integrity or dishonesty the first time, know that this will be followed many many other times, that will some point in life come back to haunt or hurt you. Live your life in truth. Don’t pretend to be someone your not. You will survive anything if you live your life from the point of view of truth.” – Oprah Winfrey
I can’t remember when I first heard this quote, though I do know it was many years ago. Of all the quotes I’ve ever read (thank you certain Facebook people who post them frequently) this one has stuck with me.
Maybe because I married a man who was not good for me and I wonder if he had shown me his true self and I had ignored it. Haven’t we all had someone in our lives who turned their backs or treated us unkindly? Someone who we trusted and then discovered we couldn’t? I know I’ve been that person. I have specific recollections of when I haven’t been the person I had made someone believe I was.
These days, I try to model qualities I want my girls to have: integrity, honesty and kindness to others. When the three of us show people who we are the first time I hope those people think that’s pretty darn good.