I’m completely oversimplifying this idea. But I do mean it.
I don’t mean to be cliche or mindless in thought. I’m a deep thinker and can get caught up in the woes of the world just like anyone else. I am also a religious person and acknowledge I am not in control. Someone else is. So I abide by advice given by others: Only worry about what you can control. For all the other things, I will meditate on it and pray for them. And, unlike a Facebook friend once said, "thoughts and prayers mean nothing", I strongly beg to differ. I agree with a tangible call to action, but for those of us who believe in a higher power, prayer is communicating with that higher being who has control. It means something to us who believe.
And before you jump all over me for being this fanatic, think about what we believe. Many say God Bless You when people sneeze. This is rooted in the idea that your heart stops and you die for a millisecond, so saying God Bless You keeps the evil spirits out. I don’t believe this, but many people do. People believe in ghost and goblins. They believe in crystals, cards, and stars. They are superstitious about many things. So it seems that what I believe doesn’t seem so crazy.
By only embracing those things in your control, it gives you a lot of freedom in life. And if you can control something, that means you have means to make change. You don’t have to sit there and grumble and stew and mumble under your breath. You don’t have to be anxious or hateful or bitter. If you can control something, then do something about it. Resolve to fix or forgive. Taking action is the key. If you don’t like the wobble in your car tires, then fix it. If you don’t like that there is no crosswalk where you usually walk, petition to the city council. If you don’t like a political situation, take action and do something. That doesn’t mean protest. Protesting does nothing. Actually do something to change the system.
On the other hand, if you can’t control something, maybe give it the few seconds it deserves and move on. If its something you can pray about and let the higher being deal with it, then that’s all you can do. If you have no recourse to elicit change, then why worry about it. Why yell to people on social media or do things that don’t matter one bit? Its wasted emotion and energy. Why make heartache in your life that doesn’t need to be there?
I know of someone who is perpetually bitter. She is always the victim. Everyone is always out to get her. And she thinks she is the only person in the world who holds the correct philosophy on such things. The problem is, she was happy at times before. She was that beautiful partner that someone wanted in their lives. But bitterness from breakup led to a hard line ideology that began to dig a hole. At times, she has tried to crawl out and be someone else. But the hole drags her in deeper. And with each experience, she digs deeper. At some point, she’ll be so deep that nobody wants to lend a hand to help. She is just alone in the darkness. She isn’t aware of why she is alone anymore. Her ideology ostracizes her from the world. It is not a good way to live.
I feel bad about those people who are so bitter. Some are not religious so they do all they can to put down traditions of others. They don’t like seeing your happiness so they try to bring you down into the hole they dug for themselves. I saw the same with Thanksgiving. People can’t just enjoy and just be someone who accepts others. They have to dig their heels in and be bitter. I wish I could just tell them to be happy and all would be well. But they are so deep inside their thoughts, their pain, and their alter ego that pride won’t release them to enjoy.
I really dislike the coexist bumper stickers that are out there. Its not that I don’t believe in coexistence. Its just that I know some of the people with those bumper stickers and they are totally anti-religious. If we really coexist, it means we accept others. I accept everyone even though I don’t always agree with what they do. I don’t like smoking at all, but I have friends who are smokers. It doesn’t change how much I like them as people. I have many friends who are vegans or vegetarians, but they still seem to like me when I’m not. When I was in Thailand, there was a Buddhist event that was a national holiday for them. I acknowledged and accepted what was happening. I even wanted to go and view one of the ceremonies at a temple. Its not that I believe the same, but I accept and am curious. There are more Catholic, liturgical kinds of practices and holidays that I don’t follow. But I accept and embrace them even if I don’t believe the same. Its all about being an agreeable person in society. I’m not out protesting or bad-mouthing what they do. Its not what polite people do.
Be happy! Enjoy a Polish pączki even if you aren’t Polish or Catholic. I didn’t even know what a
pączki was until I moved to Detroit. But I sure ate the heck out them. We can be multicultural, multiethnic, and enjoy all that life provides. Celebrate each other. Be jubilant when other people are happy. Its really not hard to do. Its freedom of thought. Its removing trying to intellectualize everything to make yourself feel superior. Sometimes, most times, its better to see through the eyes of a child. If there are smiles and lights and colors, then smile and be happy. If you allow yourself to be free, then you can do it too.