We seek black and white in everything. We want these perfect little packages to identify, compartmentalize, and sort. It’s easier that way.
It happens all the time with religion, politics, guns, drugs, and most sadly people.
If you are pro one thing you are then automatically a hater of the opposite.
Example, you voted for Trump in the election. You are therefore a womanizer, antifeminist, pro nuclear war supporter of pedophiles and unscrupulous business persons.
If you have a religion you believe in and practice you are then anti every other religion and you think that they are very childish, unfounded, and stupid.
If you are pro guns then you are a redneck militant that wants all out western style street justice.
If you are pro women’s rights (abortion), then you are some extreme feminist with a very anti man agenda that believes the patriarchy is everything that’s wrong in our world.
Maybe, but most likely not.
It is easier to make things black and white. It makes it easier to explain to our children. It is more difficult to recognize and accept the subtle nuances and the plethora of shades that life actually provides.
Case and point on Saturday I picked my son up from his grandparents at noon. We then started driving listening to his latest story, Prince Caspian. We arrived at the corner of Starin and Kenmore and there was a homeless man holding a sign asking for help.
My son sees homeless people almost everyday with my business being located downtown smack in the middle of a food shuttle from the Salvation Army and a code blue shelter. He will curiously ask about people, are they homeless, why, and every single other thing we all will wonder.
He asked what the sign said that the gentlemen was holding said. I told him that the guy was asking for help.
He responded compassionately that we could help. I said you are right we ‘could’ help, however we cannot help him right this second.
He quickly countered with I could give him a job. I said you are correct I could but I don’t know if he could make it downtown. I also told him we do help many people already and that we cannot help everyone, all the time.
He asked why? I told him that we don’t know why he is homeless and that there may be a reason he is homeless that we cannot help with.
I told him it was more of an adult conversation than we were ready to have. I didn’t tell him that he may be a drug addict or someone with mental health issues that we are not capable of helping with.
He asked if he had an infection that he needed to be away from people so they didn’t get his infection. I again reinforce my stance that it was an adult conversation that we were not ready for yet and that I really love his desire to help other people and that it is very important to do.
I don’t tell you that for any other reason than to illustrate the gray in life.
What am I?
I don’t have a clear answer, it depends on the situation, it depends on where I am. When I coach a class it is an amplification of me; louder, more aggressive, in your face. That is nothing like what I am like when I treat a chiropractic patient where I am usually very quiet and try to be an attentive listener. Again, this is different from how I am with a nutrition patient. Thats just at work. If you have seen me with my son its again different, the same is true of being with my girlfriend, being with friends, being with family. None of us fit into a box. Especially today, when a tweet can define the rest of your life, we need to exercise compassion and open eyes in all situations. We need to avoid being dulled by the vast and overwhelming amount of negative and keep our eyes open for the positive.
When we try to create perfect boxes for things it makes life ‘easier’ however it closes us off tremendously to experience much more from so many others.
I am more than a series of adjectives, it would probably be better to describe what I know I am not.
I am not dead, and neither are you. We are everything else! We really are. At any given time, place, and situation we are constantly changing.
Do not confine yourself and others into a convenient definition or box.
You are yourself, no one else, nothing else.
This morning one of my athletes was telling me some potentially devastating health news. Life altering, life changing, life ending. I love her for the perspective she gives me and I think she enjoys that I treat her like a person. She took her news and it didn’t really change her because she is living her life, the way she wants and is happy.
I don’t know how many are doing that, living their life. Not just the version of life are told to believe is the one that we should be living.
The quote states that most men live a life of quiet desperation. It’s not just men, it’s women, it’s children. We do not want to be afraid, we do not want to be embarrassed, we just want to be happy. Listen to old people, listen to what they say about life and regret. I know you won’t so I will tell you. They regret what they didn’t do. They regret not being true to themselves. They regret living a life that was not them.
I want you to be happy, yes you because you deserve it. You deserve to be happy. This happiness is going to come from your responses more than your circumstances.
We literally chose to be happy, sad, angry, fearful based on every situation we encounter. I am by no means saying it is easy to be happy or that it does not take hard work. It is what we choose to see, it is what we ask our children to see, it is what we put out, our vibe.