Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Life's Too Short
I got this in my Fortune Cookie today. I'm going to get it laminated. Maybe make a keyring or something. Nothing like positive thoughts to keep me going.
As an avid listener, I find myself on the receiving end of a lot of complaining - at work, at home, even at the grocery store. Maybe I have a sympathetic face, who knows? People complain about lack of communication, but don't bother to tell management that their computer isn't working. They complain about not being included in corporate events, but don't attend the annual Christmas Party.
They complain the house is a dump, but don't mow the lawn for weeks at a time. If their hair is curly, they want it straight. If it's straight, they want it curly. They're too skinny, too fat, too hot, too cold.
Some people make a living at complaining. They jab at their partners, parents and children with sharp-witted and humorous glee on television, movies and on the stage. Stand up comedy would be nowhere without complaining.
Don't get me wrong - it's okay to bitch once in a while, but when it starts to sound like a broken record, maybe complainers need to take a step back and look at their lives. Even when life seems like it's shitting on them at every turn, they don't realize how precious it is.
Perhaps they have spouses and children who love them. Even if they aren't rich and famous, they have the company of friends who see beyond the negativity and give them the support they need.
Writer Patry Francis , who often has every right to complain, quoted Woody Allen:
"Life is divided up into the horrible and the miserable. The horrible would be terminal cases, blind people, cripples. The miserable is everyone else. When you go through life you should be thankful that you're miserable."
My little cousin Austin fought a courageous battle with cancer for five years, finally succumbing at the tender age of eight. Every step of the way he laughed, played and came up with marvelous insights about life, death, friends, Heaven and Pokémon. Even as he was wheeled through the parking lot on a gurney while being transported by ambulance from one hospital to another, he asked the paramedic to stop so he could catch the raindrops on his tongue.
When you are inclined to complain, stop and think about your Fortune.
What is your Fortune? Is it money? Fame? Contentment? Family? A spectacular sunset? Tell me.