He (nonchalantly) started to pick up 3 cards to peak at instead of 2.
“Hey, I said. What are you doing? You’re breaking the rules!”
“No,” he replied. “You’re allowed to pick up 3 at a time.”
“Really? Since when?”
“Fine. But, you know. You’re changing the rules. Which is fine. But, we need to discuss changing the rules before you change them. We need to agree on the new rules.”
Over this past weekend, rules were broken. One after the other.
I’m not talking about rules in the house or between family members.
I’m talking about rules in the community.
Which we sort of have.
(I say that because it seems that most people in our community don’t really want rules. But anyway, that’s really another topic for another time.)
In this case, the rules that were broken occurred at the synagogue over Shabbat.
Nothing really big deal or earth shattering.
But, when you sit on a committee and you are the head of that committee (like I am), you feel a certain responsibility to uphold rules or decisions that are made.
And, interestingly enough, all the rules that were broken this time happened because of one individual (who doesn’t even sit on the synagogue committee and who was taking liberty to make synagogue decisions on his own).
But, what was I going to do? Parent him like I parented my own child?
So, as I sat in my seat during prayer services on Friday night, feeling frustrated because rules were being broken, I decided to follow my acronym: S.T.U.C.K.
S – Just stop. Be still. Take a breath. I noticed I was frustrated. I took another breath.
I somehow or for some reason skipped “T” and “U” and went right to “C” – and just recognized the decision:
Either I could stay frustrated
I could enjoy and stay focused on the prayer service.
I chose the latter.
And reminded myself (K), that it’s ok that I got stuck there for a moment in the first place.
The truth is, as the rules continued to be broken the following morning, I “stuck” with my acronym and amazingly came to the conclusion that the individual who caused the rules to be broken wasn’t actually purposefully trying to hurt anyone or show any sense of power. He was, in his own mind, just trying to help the community.
And, that new perspective for me was earth shattering.
And approaching him (which I did two days later) from that place, as opposed to an angry/judgmental place was just as remarkable.
And, it makes me wonder: Should I have automatically jumped at my child for changing the rules?
Or, just stop and notice first?