The first result was for Maya Angelou, who happens to be a favorite person of mine, but I knew I didn't get the phrase from her works. The next reference to my favorite phrase was for Oprah Winfrey. Ugh. Yes I have gone through phases where I watched her show all the time, but then I got tired of her opinion and her thoughts on the matter and her good deeds. Don't get me wrong; I do think Oprah is on the 'good side' of peoples, but I just think she has become too much of an empire. My opinion. Anyway, I had been using the phrase long before I started watching Oprah.
Moving on. By now my mind had pulled up a scene from my youth. A time in my teenage years where I was involved in some family therapy and individual therapy to deal with the changes in our family's structure. Or, more clearly, divorce and the messiness that ensues. I remember having trouble getting past some anger issues related to my mother's parenting decisions, when a therapist asked me: "Do you believe your mother would have chosen differently if she had known better?" As in, maybe she was just doing the best with what she knew. What she was taught be her parents.
At first I thought "What a cop out! Where is the personal responsibility in that?" Well, the failure lies in not searching out new information, not in believing what you are doing is right. So, DO I believe my mother would have done better if she knew better? Yes. And no. Both and neither.
In all seriousness though, that is not the point.
The point is: What does the phrase mean to ME. (It's all about me, really) For me; 'when I know better, I do better' means:
- I will never stop searching for a better way
- I will believe in what I am doing at the time to be best for me and my family
- I will hold myself accountable for when I am being lazy or using 'I didn't know!' as a way to hold back change
- I will own my mistakes
Thank you for asking, Ames! And, I PROMISE my next post will funny and light and airy and not so deep.