Thursday, February 5, 2009

In the Valley of (BAD) Decisions

Families are good for conflict; it’s a rather ‘dysfunctional’ fact and it illustrates a good point. There are times in life when try as we might we can’t keep two people happy or two sets of circumstances in balance simultaneously.

When we get to this place we’re perplexed initially and then we get to find out (later on) that this is the way of life; some situations are plain tough and difficult, and keeping everyone happy is plain impossible. When we’re first in this place, no matter the way we’ll eventually go, we don’t want to go there because it means disappointing someone or even more than one. Neither way seems desirable or right--to keep all happy--and there’s no way out. We get frustrated and angry. What are we to do?

It takes genuine courage to face the fact that this is the best it’s going to get, and to be able to truly accept it. It’s a level of accepting people for who they really are and that the only change we can actually effect is to change our own perceptions and the way we see the world.

It’s beyond doubt a journey toward a distant destination in finally arriving at this hard conclusion. There are quite a number of disagreements along the way, as we have our collective share of anguish and torment, and learn and re-learn this common truth.

It seems strange to say it but the truest sense of happiness resides in coming to the end of ourselves, and that we stand to gain little by endlessly endeavouring to keep everyone happy. (This is not to say we don’t try. We should always try.)

To strive endlessly to achieve universal contentment is to eventually experience exhaustion and possibly the ultimate failure; as Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

Let’s accept that we have little actual control over others’ perceptions and happiness, though we must always try to a reasonable level to be pleasant, accommodating and accepting.

See, the valley of bad decisions is not that bad after all--when we get to the fork in the road we should take it. Make the decision and smile.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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