“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the best things I learned over the years was that people could not make me angry and if I did get angry it was only because I let them get to me. If I have one message I would love to pass on to my grandchildren is to please avoid letting anger steal from your happiness. Here are some thoughts from an article written by Byron Pulsifer more than five years ago for your consideration.
Do Not Take It Personally
All of us meet hundreds of people during a lifetime and some of these people are memorable, some we really like, and some who seem to be forever in their own space most often ignoring or unaware of their own attitudes either consciously or unconsciously. And, for a lot of us, the actions, or reactions of these types of people can certainly annoy us or aggravate us and lead us to take their behaviors personally.
For example, how many times have you been driving to work when another motorist has cut you off, made a dangerous lane change without signaling, or nearly rear-ended you because they were tail gating you? I’m sure this has happened to you. How did you react? Did you react emotionally by blowing your horn incessantly, speed up to catch them and give them a rude gesture, or did you just sit there boiling over? In other words, did you take this action by the other driver personally? Well, at one time or another, we have all probably felt this way and allowed this inconsiderate motorist to ruin the rest of your day. So, what have you done? You took their actions personally.
And, what about that colleague who is never wrong, and where you are never right? Is this kind of person telling you more about yourself, or are they really making an unconscious statement about who they are, and their own need for ego enhancement? Do not take his or her actions personally or you are allowing someone else to tell you who you are and what you are worth.
The message should be clear to all of us. We are human beings full of emotions and behaviors but we all have a choice to make our lives what we want; our perceptions and reactions can be controlled if we understand that there are hundreds of inputs every day that call us to respond. How we respond is not dictated to us as if we are programmed to respond a certain way; we are not robots. Choose your reactions based on who you are not on some extraneous event or someone else’s needs.
“No one else can ever make your choices for you. Your choices are yours alone. They are as much a part of you as every breath you will take, every moment of your life.”
Dr. Shad Helmstetter’
The temperature had taken an overnight plunge and Minnesota reaffirmed its reputation as one of the nation’s coldest states. Despite a wind-chill of minus 40, we steelworkers erecting a TV tower in a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb showed up for work. By 9 a.m., a tall Texan climbed down from the tower and entered the office trailer. He took his lunch pail from the shelf and headed for the door.
“What’s up?” the foreman asked. “You sick?”
“Nope,” the Texan replied. “Goin’ home to get my jacket.”
“Where’s home?” the foreman persisted.
“Dallas,” he said.
“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”
An acquaintance of mine whose daughter was about to be married decided to give her a diamond ring that had been in the family for several generations. The stone had never been appraised, so the father asked a gemologist friend if she would take a look at it. She agreed, but said that instead of a fee she’d accept lunch at one of Houston’s finer restaurants.
A few days later, as he and the gem expert sat sipping a glass of Chablis, he showed her the ring. She took out her jeweler’s loupe, examined the diamond carefully and handed it back.
“Wow,” said a diner who had been watching from the next table. “These Texas women are tough!”
Last night I saw a movie with a happy ending…. everybody was glad it was over.
“The Good Old Days” This may be a repeat, I just needed the reminder.
“Hey Dad,” one kid asked the other day, “what was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”
“We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,” I informed him. “All the food was slow.”
“C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?” “It was a place called “at home,” I explained. “Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.”
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:
Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died. My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer.
Bicycles weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone’s lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.
I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza. It was called “pizza pie.” When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It’s still the best pizza I ever had.
We didn’t have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather’s Ford. He called it a “machine.” I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t already using the line (called a Party Line).
Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was. All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4:00 am every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. I don’t know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren’t allowed to see them.
If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with the young ones. Just don’t blame me if they bust a gut laughing. Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?
“The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.”
Hubert H. Humphrey
Sadie, the marriage broker goes to see Mr. Cohen, a confirmed bachelor for many years.
“Mr. Cohen, don’t let it get too late. I have exactly the one you need. Just say to me, ok, and you’ll meet, and in no time, you’ll be married to this fine women.”
“Don’t bother Sadie,I have two sisters at home that handle all my needs.”
“All well and good, Mr. Cohen, but all the sisters in the world cannot fill the role of a wife.”
“But Sadie, I didn’t say they were my sisters.”
“It’s a difficult truth to face that some people choose to define themselves by the pain they feel or the wrongs they’ve suffered. They’re not going through hard times so much as making all times hard.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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