Happiness and Bad Behaviors

The other day my toddler picked a flower and gave it to me. Fortunately it was from our garden and not someone else’s and as far as I know it wasn’t some prize-winning, million-dollar geranium.  So it wasn’t a “bad behavior” exactly, but in truth it was a stay-in-the-garden type flower and he wasn’t really supposed to pick it. But he gifted it to me so I was delighted.  It got me thinking – when else in my life had I seen only the unwanted behavior and not the well-intentioned origin of it?  I fear it’s probably a lot more often than I want to admit because people are often not able to explain themselves (pets, toddlers, drivers who cut in front of us). We’re usually aware of when we (ourselves) have a well-intentioned origin to a behavior someone else considers bad – like when we get caught speeding because we’re trying to get the ice cream to our homebound neighbor before it melts, or when we got yelled at for slipping the dog some table food because we thought it would make him happy but instead it made him sick.  Of course, not every unwanted behavior stems from a well-intentioned origin but keep your eyes peeled for the ones that do.  That slight shift in understanding will be the difference between an argument and a hug.