Posted in Life

Those Starving Kids in China…and Other Tales of Woe

Sometimes it is easy for me to fall into that old trap of wanting what I can’t have and kicking myself when I’m down. Two bad days in a row makes it seem like life is terrible. But, I feel it is important to take the time to stop, breathe, and remember that two days doesn’t make up a person’s lifetime,and two bad days back to back mean nothing except you had two bad days back to back. I think us humans have a tendency to reach for meaning where there isn’t always meaning to be found. Sometimes it is what it appears, and sometimes not, so best to not jump to conclusions.

Anyway, about those starving kids in China. I remember always being told at dinner time to eat all the food on my plate because there were starving kids in China. Maybe China was a safe choice, far away enough to not have it be real, but a real country, so still plausible? Either way, I sometimes struggled to clean my plate. I would be up there at the table sometimes for over an hour. I tend to eat slow, and I eat slower still when I am full, but I was always told not to waste food. It became a problem until one day, I insisted on dishing out my own portions. I lost a lot of weight after doing that too, my mom meant well, but basically she was forcing me to overeat and telling me to do what I was told, didn’t seem to actually figure out that there was a problem with a simple solution.

To this day, I hate wasting food, it feels wrong to me. And, I don’t think waste is good.  But, neither is feeling sick because you ate too much. I guess what my rambling point is, that we don’t always see how good we have it, and we don’t always see the full picture of what’s going on. Sometimes what looks like an insurmountable problem actually has a simple solution. Don’t want your kid to waste food on their plate? Dish up smaller portions, if they are still hungry, they can go back for seconds.  Can’t seem to save money, find a way to set aside money without having to think about it. Don’t like your life right now, try to figure out what you don’t like, and do something about it. (I am still working on this one, sometimes inertia is so much easier than forcing yourself to be proactive.)

We as people often use tales of woe, or saying someone else has it worse off to make ourselves feel better. I say, if it works, go for it! If you need to think on those starving kids to eat your spinach, then picture them in all their bulging eye, rib showing glory.

Different things motivate different people. I actually get more motivated when I feel good. If I feel like I’m on a roll, and the good things keep coming, it is like a high. If I am being badgered, ordered about, reminded daily of my faults and short comings, than, I tend to do the whole fall flat on my face failure plus self fulfilling prophecy bit. The trick that I am trying to learn is to channel and store that good feeling and try to summon it up during the bad times, like my own energy source.

And, to try and take a moment and remember that people are comprised partly on the events that have happened to them throughout their day. Do not give people the power to control your moods, up or down. If you depend on someone to make you feel good, or let someone make you feel bad, you are giving them way too much power over your self-worth.  Besides, even well-meaning people let others down from time to time. If you aren’t emotionally dependent on them, than it isn’t the end of the world when this happens. (I’m still working on this as well, easier said than done!)

In closing, there are starving children somewhere, some not as far away as China, some further, and there are horrible accidents, diseases and disasters being brought to our attention via television everyday. But, in the end, to prevent useless anxiety, it really serves no purpose to worry about the things beyond your control. Find your peace within, and your life won’t seem too bad. It isn’t going to be paradise on earth everyday either, that just isn’t natural, but, nothing is unsalvageable.  🙂