What’s the difference between practical vs. impractical? I hear talk about that a lot.
There’s common things, for instance, don’t drive on the roads during a blizzard. Or wearing sunscreen on a hot day. Don’t spit into the wind!
But what about other things? Things, events, or situations we put ourselves in. What’s practical and what’s not? I truly believe it is different for everyone. And I also know we judge one another, based on what we feel is practical or impractical.
I know I’ve made assumptions about people, based on what I see and observe from the outside, looking at the life they present to others. I’m not proud of that. it’s something to become particularly aware of and change at my attitude about.
Something that I think is completely impractical for someone to do, obviously makes perfect sense to them and I have no place to judge, or offer unsolicited advice about.
Recently I was listening to a conversation between two people that not only made me aware that I have said similar things about things I know ZERO about, but it also made me take a step back and know that everyone has their reasons for doing whatever they do and we should let one another be.
Life is fleeting, as we all know. Everyone makes mistakes and faces challenges differently. Sometimes happy memories are all we have to keep us putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.
Life is hard. There are risks and troubles, happiness and laughter. What do you want to look back on at the end of the day?
Sometimes you do things that only make sense in the moment, but that moment will bring you a smile when things are hard and seem hopeless.
The conversation I mentioned earlier was about money. Money is always a touchy subject to discuss and I was not a part of this conversation, but it happened in my presence.
It was a conversation about the people in the area who have a lot of money and spend it on ‘stupid things.’ One person said the rich people in the area are so tight with their money. They don’t like to spend it but like to flaunt that they have it.
Another person spoke about a wealthy family, who spent what they thought, was an exorbitant amount of money on their daughter’s wedding. They went on to say to say how the people had offered to put a down payment on a house for their daughter and soon to be son in law. But the couple turned it down, wanting a huge wedding instead.
Then the conversation was about spending money on huge weddings. That after all, only last a few hours, for one day. They said how stupid it was to spend money like that, when a down payment on a house would be much more practical.
After that, one person remarked that we can’t take our money with us when we die, so we should spend it on whatever we want while we’re alive.
It sounded like a total contradiction to me! First it was about the rich being tight with their money. Then it was about the rich spending it on ‘stupid’ things. Then it was how they can’t take it with them. And finally, that they should spend it on whatever they wanted to.
I said not a word during this conversation, as I was interested to see how it would play out.
Later I thought about the words spoken. I thought about weddings, as my daughter is soon to be married. I thought about down payments on a house. Yes, that’s practical. Expensive weddings, well yes, they can be impractical as well.
However, when we look back at the end of the day, at the end of our lives, what do we want to remember? How we made practical decisions about things that maybe made life a little easier, or ‘impractical’ decisions, that filled us with love, precious memories and a legacy?
Sometimes life can throw you huge curve balls you NEVER saw coming. Sometimes you need to pull out those memories, moments and experiences that can never be taken away, to give you the courage to continue on through a crisis.
Something deemed impractical by others, can be what your loved ones recall as the thing you did, the decision you made, was to give them what you could, to make their lives a little better, a little happier, a little more joyful, even if just for a day.
Practial and impractical decisions don’t have to be about money at all. They can be matters of the heart, or the mind. Our thought processes change over the years about what’s practical and what’s impractical.
I know I don’t want to look back anymore and think about the ‘practical’ decisions and choices I made, that ended up bringing sorrow and pain to others and myself. I want to find the joy in the day. I want to remember ‘impractical’ decisions, choices, purchases I made, that did bring happy times and wonderful memories that lasted a lifetime for me and hopefully for those involved.
I’m not saying that we should all just blow our money on whatever, all the time. Or do ‘crazy’ things every day. I’m simply saying that what might be totally practical to you, can be deemed impractical to others. That, equals judging others. Which is wrong and hurtful.
Let people be. Let them do what is right for them. Be open minded. You might learn something.