Maya Angelou’s “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option” is so popular that it has its own Facebook page. It is a thought provoking adage about priorities in life. The full impact of its meaning stirs several phases of realization and not all of them comfortable.
In our daily exchanges most of us don’t give much thought as to whether we are an option or a priority. If we love someone, we tend to focus on them not us. But there comes a time when the relationship gets out of balance and even the most clouded judgment has to accept the fact that priorities are one-sided. We feel cheated and betrayed.
Once you discover you are sitting in the option section what do you do? Our initial reaction is to make excuses for that person, and then move on to microscopic self examination to determine a cause for not making the priority grade. It is at this stage the full impact of Maya Angelou’s words reinforces our ability to accept and move on.
I believe the universe sends a teacher when we are ready to learn the lesson. The veil of self deception lifts and acceptance of our status can be liberating. Distinguishing between what is important and what is vital may be a better choice in determining priorities in life.
Should you reciprocate and send someone to the option section of your balance sheet? I don’t think so. A permanent indeterminate status is probably safer. Once you no longer focus on those whom you have elevated to priority, you may discover more worthy recipients to include in your priority list.
Hallmark has not created a card for this event, but maybe they should.