05 July 2011

Bumps in the Road

Sometimes on this road of life, we face some pretty rough traveling.  There are times when the road is full of potholes or ice heaves or even small fault lines, and we have to pay very close attention to where we’re going and what we’re doing so that we don’t hit the potholes and do some damage to our vehicles–or in other words, ourselves.

What makes the difference in the trip, though, is how we respond to the potholes.  We can sit in our cars and complain about them because they make the trip more difficult, or we can be grateful for them because they force us to be more aware of our surroundings.  And let’s face it–potholes or not, at least there’s a road that will take us where we want to get to, isn’t there?

I know many people who would do nothing but complain about the potholes, threatening to write letters to congresspersons and Department of Transportation people.  All they seem to be able to focus on are the obstacles, even when they’re successful in avoiding them.

I know other people who just look at a pothole as a normal part of life.  “At least I didn’t hit it,” they say, and immediately forget that the thing even exists, focused on the next part of their journey.

The former people tend to be unhappy and miserable, always looking for the next thing to be upset about.

The latter tend to be pretty content with their lives and the way that they’re living them.

It’s a pretty easy call for me to say which group I’d rather be a part of.  So I work really hard at minimizing my complaining, looking for the positive in the situations of my life instead of the negative things.  So far, I find that this strategy pays excellent dividends, for I find myself feeling at peace, calm, and aware of my surroundings.  It’s a much more pleasant way to go through life, and I really would like to go through life in as pleasant a way as possible.  I know that bad times will come, but when my choice is involved, then I’d much rather see potholes as simple parts of life rather than as major annoyances that make me lose my peace of mind.

People of character find a special attractiveness in difficulty,
since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty
that they can realize their potentialities.

Charles DeGaulle

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