Monday, December 22, 2008

Things You Cannot Change

I learned two very important lessons a long time ago.

a)  Things happen and many times they will happen despite your best efforts.

The roof may fall, your friends may go away, you may lose some money in a bad deal...and there's nothing you can do about it.  Once it has happened, the best thing to do is decide how you're going to handle it.  It's not as if you can take an eraser out and rub the incident from the pages of your life.  Although I have seen many people try to do this.  They may reject their friends, toss their child out of the house (and family tree!) or just pretend it never happened.  However this almost always ends up hurting them more.

And one of the most infantile reactions would be to blame it on other people.  Hel-LO!  Grow up, will you?  It helps if you say (now repeat after me) : I am responsible for the things I do and the words I say and the stuff I eat. Then repeat every morning with a glass of water until you get it.

b) People's decisions are NOT your responsibility.

Whatever people may say or do, it is never your responsibility.  Unless they are 5 year old toddlers and you are their babysitter.  Even then, toddlers are famous as 'play back recorders' of whatever the adults around them say.  So blame their dads and moms for any 'spicy' words!

A good example would be someone who threatens to commit suicide if YOU don't do something.  Usually it would be a rejected suitor or a disappointed lover.  However, if you give in to such a demand, you will set yourself up for a lifetime of demands.
"I'll kill myself if you don't marry me..."
"I'll kill myself if you don't buy me a car..."
"I'll kill myself if you don't wear this dress..."

What a crazy existence that would be. 

After watching two university friends give in to such demands, I made sure I made it very clear to friends and acquaintances that I would never give in as I would only be setting up the stage for a miserable future.  So that would be a disservice to both myself and the other.  Besides, if that suicidal person really did go through with his or her threat, he or she will just have to bear the consequences of such a destructive action and prepare an explanation to the Almighty in the afterlife.  I doubt you will be required to stand witness.

Coldblooded?  No, I don't think so.  I think it's pragmatic.  Besides, life is messy.  Deal with it.