The last post was about focusing on what you can control and releasing the things you can not control (http://stoppingpuncheswithmyface.com/2012/04/28/its-about-you-it-has-always-been-about-you/#comments ).
The post generated a number of comments about different levels of personal power, playing the victim and not waiting for someone else to make you happy.
I want to address those topics in my next three blog posts.
Circumstances do have a strong roll in how our lives play out.
I had commented that yes, if you are a rich, old, white, man in NYC, you have more control over your fate than a 11 year old girl, in a war zone in the Sudan, that is not fair, it just is how it is.
But even the powerful and rich don’t control everything, ask the rich people on the doomed Titanic, Concord or working at the World Trade Center, you may be powerful, and want to live forever however some things are out of your control. One of my favorite old jokes is, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. It makes me smile even as I type it.
Everyone’s circumstances are different.
Compared to many people I have had some things go my way. My parents seem to like me, I had the opportunity to work (and scholarship) my way through several university degrees, I am relatively healthy and perhaps more importantly I have a western passport.
This passport means I can travel almost the whole world, without much fuss. Don’t think it is a huge advantage to live in the west where even the poor have food, mobile phones and cars? Renounce your western citizenship and move to the Sudan, North Korea, Somalia or Outer Mongolia, you will be at the embassy within the year claiming temporary insanity and begging to fly back ( “coach is fine just get me back home”) and you will not be complaining for a while.
But not everything in my life is optimal.
I say relatively healthy because I have pretty bad asthma and will be on medication my whole life. Remember hearing about how in the 1800’s when winter came half the village died, well I would be part of the dead half. Medicine has saved my life more than once. I have had pneumonia over a dozen times, the first was when I was 1, and have had bronchitis more times than I can count. As I understand it once you have had pneumonia once, you are most susceptible to it in the future (and yes, I have started getting the pneumonia vaccine).
I understand your circumstances may be difficult but you have to consciously choose to try to make the best of it. Otherwise what we are saying is that if something bad happens to you, there is no way you can be happy.
Let’s say you where born with no legs, then what, you never get to be happy? What if you where born in Somalia, then you should just mail it in? What if you where born like my son? You don’t speak, you have problems going to the bathroom, and you don’t have friends, then what you are never going to be happy?
My son has some really hard days but some days he is undeniably happy. He does not talk so I don’t know what he is happy about, but laughs and laughs in contagious laugher that drowns the whole house in joy. Is he not allowed the happiness cause he can’t read, or write or “perform” the way us “regulars” do?
My son is severely mentally handicapped and sometimes it alternatively bums me out, frustrates, and infuriates me, however I have to try to chose to pursue joy. I have to remind myself to choose to be happy; otherwise, whenever something does not go my way it would allow me an excuse to not be happy. Which takes to the next point, being a victim.