No Sympathy Please
RULES: even good ones can get you down

I believe happiness is a matter of luck.

Well, sort of anyway.

I say that because I think when we see ourselves as lucky, we are happy, andwhen we feel like we have been given a raw deal, we are not.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how tosee yourself as fortunate.

It’s just one of those thingseach of us needs to work out for ourself.

What I can help with, however, is an explanation for why I slapped an amber traffic light at the top of this column.

I did that because,some days, every traffic light I approach turns yellow just before I can accelerate to beat the red.

I stop because I know traffic rules are a good idea, but it feels like God is watching me on a tv monitor with a traffic light remote control in His hand and He and His mates are having a laugh at my expense.

It really pisses me off and, even though I know it is the worst thing I can do for my peace of mind, I often feel sorry for myself.

Okay, I realise that’s probably not what’s actually happening, but I really do think those kinds of thoughts.

My point being that most of us are pretty good at twisting our reality so we can see ourselves as victims… even if it takes a hell of a lot of twisting.

On the other hand, imagining God with a remotecan also help me realise how silly I am being by focusing on things that go wrong.

But when that doesn’t work, I try to remember some of the ridiculously good luck I have had in my life. My daughters being an excellent example.

I met their English mother in Kenya.

Les was on a two-year teaching contract at a primary school while I was at the University of Nairobion a Rotary Scholarship I had earned in the United States.

The thing is, I’d applied to go to Exeter University in the UK but the Rotary Foundation decided I should go to Nairobi instead.

What a piece of luck. There are not enough yellow lights in the world to cancel that one.

On a more sombre note, I have an 83-year-old friend who has throat cancer.

He is scheduled for surgery next week, and his wife, six children and nine grandchildren are very worried.

The great thing about Pat, though, is that he seems to be more concerned about them than he is about his own health.So, instead of feeling sorry for himself and soaking up the sympathy, Patis being extremely positiveabout his treatment and grateful for the care and company his family have been providing… and I honestly believe he is a happy man.

The point here being that we humans are also capable of seeing the upside of any situation.

So, Pat and I have used our families in different ways to help us not feel too sorry for ourselves.Maybe something like thatwould work for you as well, or maybe you couldfind something else.

I certainly believe it is worth thinking about.

Anyway… good luck.

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