It’s all on us

I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Everything irritated me. Except I got up on the same side of the bed I always do. What was the real difference? Why was it that little things I usually overlook were now annoying? What was the — to use a silly overused psycho word — trigger?

It had been a night of interesting, even entertaining dreams. I have no actual recollection of the content, just that I was engaged in the stories and a willing participant. There may even have been a happy ending, and maybe therein is a clue. I didn’t want to leave that world and wake up to this complicated world with its foolish idiots trying to run our lives and its words my failing ears can’t hear and its dogs that demand attention and the new crossword puzzle in the local paper that I can’t solve without over-reliance on my cheat website.

It’s all in the attitude, they say. We can’t help that politicians are almost uniformly sociopaths who commit evil because they can’t help themselves. We can’t help that wars are started to change the subject from their incompetence, and people die to cover up their mistakes. We can’t help that the sun isn’t shining or we’re out of breakfast cereal or the film we watched last night had a stupid ending.

The only thing we can help is our reaction and how we process what happened.

I have to say, that realization does make it easier to let go of the irritable feelings. I remember I love our home and all its denizens and that life is pretty good here. I remember that as much as they want to be the center of our lives and bombard us with reasons “why they need us,” they really don’t affect our everyday lives substantially and we’re free to live more or less as we wish.

Why are petty thieves and villains in charge of the world? They’re not. Petty thieves and villains are in charge of the world’s governments, but the governments are not the world and the governments are not “us.” When governors and their governments act, we didn’t do that; the alleged bosses of our lives did. Oh yes, when we blindly obey or do what they say, we did do that, but they don’t represent us when they go about their everyday madness.

I have no quarrel with you; I just want to live my life my way and let you live your life your way and beg pardon when we go different ways, as long as we don’t infringe on each other. I saw a quote from John Wayne’s last movie, The Shootist, the other day, in which his character said, “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same of them.” I must say that’s a lovely way to live, if stated a mite harshly. Essentially it’s “Be kind and expect kindness, and you’ll get up on the right side of the bed more often.”

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