when you know better, you do better

I was speaking to my neighbor the other day when he mentioned an interview he watched between Oprah and Maya Angelou. I couldn’t find the interview he was speaking about, but I did come across Oprah sharing one of the best pieces of advice Dr. Angelou gave her: “When you know better, you do better.” I appreciated it for its short, simple, and powerful message. I think this saying is a wonderful response to when you find yourself or others stuck in past mistakes and forgiveness is hard to do. For me, because I tend to be hard on myself and a perfectionist, in the past (more so than the present) I would reprimand myself for small and large mistakes I made. It could range from the way I delivered a message to someone to how I decided to end a friendship. The reality is, and what I am constantly reminding myself, is that we grow wiser with age (or at least that’s the hope). So, what I did in the past, as Dr. Angelou said, is what I knew best with the life tools and knowledge I had at the time. I cannot be judged on it, since I am choosing to grow into a better person since then. The hope would be that if a similar scenario arose, I would know how to better respond because I’ve learned my lesson. Further, it’s the simple reminder that we all make mistakes. It’s part of growing wiser and into yourself. I hope your past mistakes do not hold you hostage and that this post encourages you to reframe your thoughts and actions.  

What do you do better, now that you know better? :)

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About Reaksmey

hi :) i'm reaksmey (reeks-may) and I love to think, reflect, and grow. do you? my life includes a handsome husband and a lively infant. here's where i write about how i grow through life's ups and downs so that i can humbly encourage you daily.
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One Response to when you know better, you do better

  1. Astrid says:

    I think it’s that general feeling of self awareness that allows me to do better. I can now analyze more rapidly why I feel the way I feel, the origins of my frustration and how I choose to respond to situations as a result. Maybe that’s what maturity is? Knowing better, and doing better?

    Also, the part you wrote about not being harsh and judgmental for mistakes of the past is definitely something that resonates with me. I think given the decision at the time, we all did what we thought was best, based on incomplete information. Unfortunately, that’s how life always goes, and complete hindsight is always 20/20. We really need to stop being so harsh on ourselves as a consequence.

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