September 08, 2010

Bitter Betrayal or Simple Misunderstanding

Perspective is a funny thing as there are so many different ways that it can be impacted. When you are a happy-go-lucky person things the little things don't bother you. You just shrug your shoulders and keep on going because you really don't sweat the small stuff.

But the great part about life is that it doesn't hold still for anyone. You can quote Modern English and say that you want to stop the world and melt with someone but there is no real way to do that. No matter how hard you may try, life keeps moving. And sometimes it moves so quickly that you don't realize what it is that you are missing and or how important these moments are.

Still, when you are carefree it is easy to let your troubles roll like water off of a duck's back. The real test comes when something major happens and your world is shaken and stirred like a bad martini. That is when you start to see your perspective change. Oh the joy of getting schlattered.

Over the years I have learned that the trick to handling all this stuff with a modicum of grace is to not react immediately to whatever it is that is causing stress for you. The worst moments I have had usually stem from my having reacted to a situation, especially if I have been angry. Anger is a blade that has two edges that can cut in both directions.

Act out of anger and you risk serious injury. And when you are really close to a situation it becomes even more difficult to see it with some perspective and to gain the sort of time you need to make a smart decision. I talk about this with my children on a regular basis.

I tell them to try to act and not to react. Got a good laugh the other night when my son said that he wishes that he could be as smart as I am and not respond to every provocation. Did I forget to mention that his little sister is a master at pressing his buttons. Anyway, I told him that it is not true. I have made my share of mistakes because I have reacted in anger.

He gave me quite the look of disbelief when I said that I make mistakes and that I am not always proud of myself. So we sat down and talked about a few and I explained that I thought it was really important to try and avoid painting ourselves into corners. I said that sometimes we let our pride get in the way and we lose friends and relationships because of that.

It is a little deep for a kid who isn't quite ten, but an important topic that ties into learning how to apologize. I hate it, I really do. I don't like having to say I am sorry. It took a good chunk of years to get to the place where I could do it.

But we'll save some of this discussion for a post later on. Lunch time is over and work calls.

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