I was talking to friend and mentioned to her how people consider my surviving cancer or bringing up a special needs daughter to be inspirational for them. What have ‘I’ actually done? Nothing much. I had to fight cancer to survive, and I did. I could not give up on my daughter, so I love and care for her like any mother would. What is inspirational about me? I was a person who gave up on education when I could have achieved so much. I did not pursue a career with gusto. I was kind of failure in life.
What my friend said rang a bell in my mind. She said what happened to me was just life and how I handled it, or precisely reacted to it was inspiration. It was not letting things pull me down but use it as a spring board to soar higher than I would have in normal situations.
Thinking back on her words I started analyzing in my mind how our reactions make difference to our lives. How our attitudes changes a situation itself. Soon I found myself writing a blog about it. LOL.
How we react to a situation is very important to the outcome of situation. When we talk about domestic violence, dowry deaths and other social evils we tend to ignore the fact that proper reaction from the victim can change the situation to some extent. The reaction could be one of the brave and strong, or witty and smart.
People who learn to cope and handle a situation properly have discovered a total new way of life. Everything about our lives is not in our control. Sometimes shit happens and we cannot do anything about it. In my family, four members were affected by cancer. We all reacted in a different way to it and we all had different outcomes greatly influenced by our reactions.
It is not only in traumatic situations that our reactions affect the outcome. Take for example a situation where a student may find a very confusing and tough question paper which may not fetch good marks; even after all the hard work s/he has put into the subject. If the student becomes nervous and tensed, s/he may end scoring even less marks which can be avoided if s/he can keep cool and access the paper properly. Similarly when we have to wait for a bus, train or a person; we find some people getting fidgety and impatient, whereas some try to make new friends or catch up with a book.
Major part of our happiness depends on how we react to life. Let us keep our reaction in our control because most of the things happening around us are beyond our control and reach.
We have to be extra cautious when we are bringing up our children. They are going to break some precious things, soil their expensive clothes or flunk in the exams. Punishing and cursing will not change the situation but will have bad emotional effect on the psychology of the children. If the kids are teens, then this may lead to verbal war with bad consequences. The situation or result never changes but the way you go through your day with a bad mood has effect on other work activities you do through the day.
For example imagine this situation.
A working wife is busy getting ready for work and preparing breakfast for the family. By mistake she adds more salt to the dish. If the husband calls her a bad cook and pushes away the plate, everything will wrong from there on. The wife will try to defend herself by asking angrily why she has to do everything. They will end up accusing each other and may carry anger against each other for the whole day. With a bad mood they may end up making mistakes in the office and having rough time with the colleagues. These tiffs at times become bricks, which slowly build a wall between two people.
If the husband would wait for the wife to have her breakfast, then she is surely bound to realize her mistake and say sorry about what happened. He can say kind words like “I understand you have so much on your hands early in the morning. Mistakes are bound to happen. Don’t fret about it; we can manage with this for today. It is no big deal”. May be he will be lucky to get something else for breakfast which is never going to happen when he accuses her. A proper reaction to such a situation will help in development of understanding between the partners and bonds them together with stronger love. These are the situations which weave the rope of love to bind two people together forever in their lives.
The above example will work in every situation we come across in our life. People passing negative comments on our achievements, accusing us of wrong doing, or stooping down to throw verbal abuses at us can make us feel sad only if we allow it to make us sad. When the water falls down on mud, it soaks it in and becomes wet, but the stone will not allow the same water to affect it any way. We have to become tough like stones and not allow such negativity to soak into us.
At times a bad or wrong reaction can cost us a dear friend, our job, our marks or our health. Blood pressure, depression and stress are highly related to how we react to a situation in our lives.
So simple is this solution yet it is so elusive. Time and again we react badly to a situation and ruin our lives. I am learning my lessons and trying hard to be in control of what is happening to ‘ME’ if not what is happening around me.
Here I would want to share one of my favorite story(Sam Levenson’s) with you……..
A poor family had been trying to marry off its only daughter for years. Finally, a very wealthy young man became interested in her.
The girl’s mother, being an excellent cook, decided to deliver the coup de grace by inviting the boy and his parents to a home-cooked dinner. They were of course led to believe that the young lady was doing the cooking. The mother strained the budget and purchased a beautiful turkey with all the trimmings. She outdid herself in preparing the bird. It looked almost too good to eat.
The big event arrived, and it was time for the turkey. One could almost hear a drum roll as the daughter made her entrance from the kitchen into the dining room, carrying the beautiful and succulent turkey on a tray.
As she stepped from the kitchen, her heel caught, she tripped, and the turkey flew off the tray skidding and rolling across the dining room floor into a corner of the room. There was an explosion of embarrassed silence. The girl’s mother saw the ruination of all their plans right then and there. She was backed into the corner just as the turkey was.
She looked up the ceiling for a moment, as if praying for assistance from the Almighty. She must have gotten it, for her face lit up as she turned to her stunned offspring and said, “That’s all right, my dear, just take that bird back to the kitchen and bring out the other one!”