My mother once said, “Be a fountain, not a drain,” a phrase surely quoted before her though I cannot state by whom. She forgot to elaborate on what you should put out there. What you give flows like a circular stream, eventually it will find you again. I believe in karma and fully feel we get back what we give. I find there is truth to the principle “mind over matter.” If you expect the worst, the worst will often greet you and vice versa.
I’m not a bowl of cherries and sunshine. And sure, I have my bad days, but I don’t sauté in the bad with great frequency or regularity. I think there is a difference between being and thinking positively versus having a cheerful demeanor at all times. It’s easy to dwell in the negative. There will always be full moons with the capability to incite fights, but a full moon is not present every evening. Everyone can think of others who have it better, others who have it worse. Anyone can conjure old childhood memories or that which inspires anger, fear, sadness, bitterness. All of which is neither unique or worthy of reveling in to a point where present or future happiness is prevented. Those incapable of embracing the good, blessings, the ability to bite their tongue generally will receive limited sympathy from me. As a result, I find I surround myself with others who share this opinion.
My best friend Wes, whom I often speak of, is a classic example of the company I prefer to keep. He is infamous for his crude retorts, his dry sense of humor, and his smartass demeanor, but he isn’t a complainer, he calls a spade a spade, and he takes responsibility for his actions, thoughts, and words. An example of our past exchange:
Me: I’ve gotten so fat! How has this happened? I hate myself.
Wes: Yep. Fatass. I’ve noticed. Get off your fatass and workout. Is that McDonald’s? Are you really bitching about being a fatass while holding a McDonald’s bag? You are. Heh. I’m embarrassed to know you and I am stupider having had this conversation.
Four months (lots of exercise, and no McDonald’s) later, I was 32 pounds lighter. And that, my friends, is the only way. Even then, I honestly had no idea how overweight I really was, but I knew something had to give. Negativity breeds negativity. Action and positivity produces results and earned satisfaction. We’re not splitting atoms. I am fully aware this isn’t a new revelation. Yeah, I get it, but take note of the overwhelming negativity of others around you and you’ll began to demand more from yourself and others.
One of my favorite movies, “The 25th Hour,” contains one of the best monologues ever shown in a movie. Edward Norton plays “Monty Brogan,” a drug dealer sentenced to many years in prison. He takes a long, literal look in the mirror and proceeds to curse (he uses the “F” word 40 times in five minutes) and blame every race, sex, religion, class, etc. imaginable. It’s brutal, but the monologue ends with his acceptance of blame. He recognizes he designed his fate. He struggles to rectify the bad with good throughout the remainder of the movie and the monologue delivered by Brian Cox, who plays Monty’s father, “James Brogan,” is stunning, poetic.
If you're interested in viewing the first monologue:
If you haven't seen the movie, don't spoil it by watching the second monolgue.
The past is part of who we are, but it doesn't define us.
Life can be overwhelming, sure, but it beats the alternative.
I realize I've written an entire blog complaining about complainers, but I promise, I was smiling the entire time...