Monday, January 27, 2014

There's nothing wrong with being content...

It's been a while. I've been busy and to be honest I haven't had that much to write. 2014 has been a wonderful year thus far. I spent New Years and the first couple of weeks in Haiti - another wonderful trip that increased my interest in the country - and have since been buckling down with school and work.
The thing is, these activities are nothing different from what I have been doing for over a year, but somehow these last few months have been better. I think it's attitude. I don't know when it was exactly that I had this sort of "AH-HAH" moment, but I think that I was lamenting my lack of interest in work and my grueling school work, when I finally realized that I alone determine my level of happiness.
I'm me. That's all I am. That's all I can control. I can be upset at the world around me, or the people around me, for not being exactly what I want them to be, but where does that get me? The only thing I can control is how I react to the people and the world around me. If I improve my outlook on things, and start trying to change the people around me and world around me to reflect more positivity and happiness, rather than allowing it to bring me down into negativity and misery, I think we are all (but especially myself) better for it.
So this is what I've been doing. When I've noticed people who constantly have a rain cloud over their head, I a) give them as little of my time as possible, and b) shower them with positivity during our limited interactions so that they don't bring me down, and it may brighten their day a little. We all know malcontents, and the thing that malcontents want to do more than anything is spread their misery. If everyone is unhappy, then it makes their unhappiness seem less glaring. But see, I don't want to operate like that. I don't want to live in that world. The majority of those people have little to be so unhappy about, and their gripes are manufactured, or at most small annoyances, that they allow to rule their attitude.
I'm done with it. Life is too short to get caught in the easy "...everything sucks..." conversation. My response these days, "Sorry, things are going pretty well here." You'll never shut a malcontented person up faster than by telling them that things are great and that they have nothing to be upset about. But wallowing has a comfortable feel in our culture and so it's often easy for these people to draw others into their misery, rather than have others pull them out (or just detach).
I don't know when it happened that mutual dissatisfaction became the easy connection, but we need a major shift away from this, because it's making people completely miss out on their lives, and ignore all of the great things around them.