Every path has its puddle; every life, its suffering

You may know or be a person in the midst of extreme hardship such as poverty, illness, pain, loneliness, unemployment, disability, homelessness, depression, or addiction. What shall we do when that is our lot? Well, we have three choices. First, we can struggle, resist, and do everything in our power to escape. Second, we can accept it. Third, we can …

Dealing with Rude Behavior

If you can’t fight, and you can’t flee, flow (Robert Eliot) Perhaps you or a friend may have said, “I don’t like it when.” or “I become angry whenever.” or “I can’t stand it if.” You can fill in the blanks. Here are some examples: “I can’t stand it when someone interrupts me while I’m speaking. I don’t like it …

What do we live for, if not to make the world less difficult for each other?

A reader asks about the pervasive problem of office politics. I’ll begin my answer with some introductory remarks. Then I will share her e-mail so you get a sense of her overall situation. After that I will respond point by point. I have numbered the paragraphs in her e-mail so I can refer to their number, instead of repeating what …

Hypocrisy – There’s much to dislike about it

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue (Francois De La Rochefoucauld) One of the most common vices, or bad habits, is hypocrisy. There’s much to dislike about it. Mainly, it’s a misuse of the gift of speech because language is used to conceal instead of reveal. By pretending to be what they are not, hypocrites imprison themselves. Although …

Frustration is the negation of elation

Life is meant to be a song of joy. Whenever we reach a goal, we feel elated; we feel in sync with the song of life. But whenever we are prevented from reaching our goals, we may succumb to frustration. We may feel annoyed and irritable. But since frustration negates happiness, it doesn’t make any sense to give in to …

Pity those who fear what they shouldn’t and fear not what they should

How sad it is to see people spend their lives haunted by fear. The joy of life is squeezed out of them by fear of failure, criticism, betrayal, change, rejection, loneliness, poverty, growing old, getting sick, losing one’s job, and saying what is on their mind. They are afraid of death. But what is the point? The fear of death …

Disappointment – The only thing certain about life is uncertainty

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope (Martin Luther King, Jr.) We all make plans, have dreams, and set goals. Will our plans materialize or end in complete failure? The only thing certain about life is uncertainty. So, our frail attempts may end in glorious victory or frustrating defeat. Such is the nature of life. We are …

Any Fool can Criticize, and Most Fools Do

The Harm We Do Imagine stabbing a friend in a fit of anger. As the knife blade sinks into his chest, your friend gasps in astonishment. Bewildered, his face contorts in excruciating pain. Losing blood and succumbing to shock, he collapses. Fortunately, someone called an ambulance, which soon arrives and rushes your friend to the hospital. Although he recovers, his …

Decisions without action are preparations for living without living

When all is said and done, more is said than done (Lou Holtz) Three frogs were sitting on a log. One decided to jump into the pond. How many were left? Did you answer two? Think again. You see, I didn’t say one jumped in; I just said one DECIDED to jump in. It’s not a technical point that I’m …

Ambiguity, vagueness, and uncertainty are not to be dreaded, but relished

Life is about not knowing… Delicious ambiguity! (Gilda Radner) Some people are uncomfortable with ambiguity. They have a need for precision. In their eyes, the world is clearly defined. Things are good or bad, right or wrong, virtuous or sinful. The problem is, the only time that is true is while we dream. Of what value is life if we …