Negative People Bore Me To Tears: A Moment With Bill Reflection
THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE
"The teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said happy. She told me that I didn't understand the assignment. I told her she didn't understand life." John Lennon
I have to tell you that I love that quote by John Lennon. Talk about having his priorities straight as a child….oh, if it were only that simple, right?
Well, it is!
Life is good!
If you don’t think so then try the alternative.
Life is good!
I first heard those words twenty years ago. They came from Little Joe, a man who befriended me at Alcoholics Anonymous when I was first starting on my own personal road of recovery. At the time he had about thirty years of sobriety, and every single time I saw him he would say that life was good.
After awhile I began to wonder if he was delusional. Was it possible that he simply did not have problems in his life? Was he never sick? Was he never short of money? Did he never argue with his wife and did he never have a car break down?
Well, it turned out that all of those things happened to him, and more, but to him all of those little problems were just a part of life. We all have ups and downs. We all have highs and lows. Still, the central message that Little Joe was delivering was that life is a banquet, and we can either move our chair to the table and feast on it all, or we can walk away and allow the food to spoil.
Life is good!
HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN THIS PERSON?
“Hey, how ya doing today?”
“I’d be great if the wife would just quit nagging me. I love her and all, but what a pain-in-the-ass she can be.”
“Hey, how’s it going today?”
“Aw, it’s a shit day man. The dog puked on the rug, gas prices are up and I just stubbed my damn toe.”
“Hey, buddy, what’s happening today?”
“I should have never gotten out of bed. I swear, there are days when I wonder if it’s worth it at all to try.”
I don’t know about you but I meet that person every single day of my life. He/she is everywhere I turn, walking down the street with a permanent dark cloud hovering above them. Spend five minutes with them and you suddenly find yourself depressed and not nearly as happy as you were before you met them.
Do you know one of them?
In truth they bore me to tears!
The Happiness Project
KICKIN’ AND A SCREAMIN’
We come into this life wailing like the Wailers, and we go out of life just about the same way. In-between those two polar opposites of our life span we find life, and it is what we do with those twenty, forty, sixty or eighty years that really counts.
I am amused, and a little bit saddened, by people who make these marvelous plans for the future but fail to appreciate today. I don’t know about you but I don’t see any guarantees in this thing called life. My dad dropped dead when he was forty-nine. One minute he and I were watching Johnny Carson and the next minute he was gone.
If I could talk to him right now, and ask him if he had regrets, I am fairly certain he would say no. My dad lived life today. He squeezed every ounce of life out of every single day, and he lived life, for the most part, with a smile on his face. If he could have been interviewed after his death I’m sure he would have said that, although not pleased with having died so young, he greatly enjoyed his time on Earth and he made the most of that time.
How many of you can say the same thing?
Life is a gift!
When I finally decided to sober up in 2006 and give up alcohol once and for all, I did not do it because I was afraid to die. I did not do it because I was afraid I would lose everything if I continued to drink, and I did not do it because I wanted my family happy.
I sobered up and changed my life because I was tired of being sick and tired, and I wanted to enjoy this gift of life.
And by God I am!
I live by a very simple credo today and I call it PIPO…..Positive In/Positive Out.
In other words, I think positive thoughts and as a result my actions are positive.
I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet. I cheated death once, so I really don’t have a clue how much further I can push my luck. Knowing that, I think it might be a good idea to push aside negative thoughts and enjoy the hell out of the time I have left.
Yes, negative people bug the hell out of me, because they have lost sight of the great gift they have been given.
“The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”
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HOME, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING COMPANIONSHIP
There you have it, and the most beautiful of these is love. That is what I have to be grateful for, and they are with me daily, and as long as I continue to marvel in them as true gifts, the easier it is for me to remain happy and positive.
But what of those who have no home? What of those who have no companionship or food to eat or who are crippled and incapable of living life without pain?
A little over a year ago I was doing a paper route in the middle of the night. My route consisted of grocery stores and newspaper machines, and I would drive around for four or five hours, seven nights per week, and deliver the news. Let me tell you that you meet some rather interesting people on the streets at three a.m., and one of them stands out in my memory.
He was a homeless vet. His name was Arnie, and I would see him pushing his grocery cart, filled with his possessions, each night. One night Arnie was at a mom & pop store when I pulled up, and he asked me if I had a spare newspaper. I figured he wanted one to read to help pass away the night, so I gave him one of my day-old papers. He insisted on paying for it. He said he was going to use the paper to clean windshields and make some money so he could buy a meal, and since the newspaper was being used for his “job” he didn’t feel right taking it for free.
Blow me away!
Then he told me to have a great day and he said “God bless you” as I was leaving.
Blow me away!
This was a homeless veteran. If anyone had a right to be bitter and feel cheated, Arnie was that person. I later found out that he had served eight years in Iraq and came back wounded. He had no family and couldn’t get benefits that he needed, so he ended up on the streets….and he wished me a great day!
My best friend has Alzheimer’s. He is fifty-two years of age. You know what he says when he sees you? Have a nice day, and he smiles when he says it, and he means it.
NEGATIVE PEOPLE BORE ME
Yes, they do!
Listen, I understand hard times. Been there, done that, and I ain’t writing the book. I understand being hungry. I understand being homeless and I understand losing hope.
I also understand that if ever there was a dead-end street in life that negativity is it.
Things will never get better if I am mired in my own self-pity. Things will never get better if I see the negatives in life as the only truths that exist.
On the other hand, each and every time I focus on the positives I find happiness.
Now Daddy didn’t raise no fool, so if I have no shot at happiness when I am negative, and I do have a shot at happiness when I am positive, which way do you suppose I am going to live my life?
You got it…..PIPO!