Ah, this is another post that goes with my facebook video chat with Leenie Brown and Zoe Burton.
Help me, Jesus. I sometimes have to repeat this to myself multiple times a day whether it’s on social media or with my kids or husband. Think about it. If you’re reacting to everything that you notice and don’t like then it’s probably a negative reaction. Now, if you notice good things, feel free to spread the joy! However, there are times when you should not react even to the positive. Put your head down. Do your work. You can acknowledge it later at the appropriate time. These are things we learn in school as children but somehow as adults we have forgotten.
By focusing more on when you should react to something, you are empowering your voice. Weigh in when it matters. When you can change something for the good. Not a mere difference of opinion. There’s also no need to call out the guy who just can’t put the grocery cart in the corral correctly. Save it for when you see domestic abuse. Raise your voice when your representatives aren’t doing their job. React by donating to a local charity when you realize the childhood poverty in your area and Christmas is coming. Those are the reactions which pull us together, which build up, which create community.
For all those other annoying moments, take a deep breath and count to ten. If I’ve survived 14 years of marriage with only one of my husband’s socks landing in the laundry hamper per day, clearly I can survive another 14. There’s no need to passive aggressively mumble under my breath, to have World War III over it or spend precious energy thinking of some husband-proof hack. It is what it is and I can move along with my life.
3 thoughts on “Wisdom Wednesday– Reactions”
I agree about choosing your battles whereas I have never agreed with the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.
Little vent here…
In times of trouble, you can usually do nothing about the big problems (war, pestilence, serious family illness), however focusing on little problems can be a welcome distraction – and often COULD affect change, in your own small way making the world slightly better – like the people serving meals to refugees in train stations in Europe or hurricane victims in Haiti. In an Agatha Christie book, Hercule Poirot mentions sitting in an air raid shelter, swelling on his sore toe – and that kept him sane in spite of the planes and the bombs.
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I think the idea of “don’t sweat the small stuff” is don’t have a fit over something that isn’t going to have an impact on anything a month or a year from now. My son missing the bus because he can’t find his shoe in time is not worth having a panic over. That is quite different from not helping on the small scale. I’m a big believer helping at a local level even if you feel like you’re not making an impact on the bigger issue. Is that refugee who is getting food little? Is that all they’re worth? Or could it be that by extending a helping hand, you could change their entire life. Their changed life could change countless others. It’s a small ripple that could keep going and going. People aren’t ever small or little. It’s the things that should just be a small pebble in your day that I think it’s talking about. Shake out your shoe and carry on. Don’t sweat the pebble but be willing to lift the clear the debris after your neighbor has been stoned.
And some times you have to realize that you are just one person and can only do so much. I get so many calls or letters to donate to worthy charities but I have limited resources. And I don’t have to brag about those – I just know in my heart I am doing what I can do.
I ignore blogs many times when I am caught up in reading – how’s that for ironic and amusing.