It’s easy to look around, see what really needs doing (sorry for any of you not local – that’s a pretty basic central PA idiomatic expression), and then start complaining because “someone” isn’t doing anything. It can be our partner/spouse, our kids, our parents, the school district or the government. It doesn’t matter who. “Someone” should DO something.
We have a decent-sized house that takes constant upkeep with three adults, three cats and nearly two acres of land. There is never a lack of chores and we knew that before we bought the place. We knew that the place would take far more upkeep and elbow grease than either of our small homes or a condo.
What I find, however, is that it’s far easier to see what my partners aren’t doing than what I should be doing. It reminds me of that scripture about taking the rafter out of our own eye before trying to remove the splinter from someone else. So this past weekend I finally got my office red up (central PA term again = straightened up, “ready up”, get ready) and was so busy I didn’t have time to get in anyone else’s face about their shortcomings. My office is looking better and everyone is speaking to each other – always a good thing!
We do the same things with agencies and authority figures. The person who screams the loudest about how government ought to stay out of his life is often the first person to complain about how slow government aid is in a disaster. We really can’t have it both ways, yet Americans seem to have a knack of doing just that. We pride ourselves on our independence, but then want someone else to do something when it all breaks down.
Ultimately we are the ones who need to guide our lives and make the choice to be in charge of our experience. Eleanor Roosevelt admonished us that no one can make us feel inferior without our consent. Likewise, no one is going to be responsible for our happiness, our good health or our finances except us. We can grow old waiting for that knight in shining armor (or wait for our knight to get up off the couch!), or we can take charge ourselves.
In the meantime, I think I’ll build a fire to greet the guys when they get home from chorus practice. A little kindness goes a long way when you have to drive home 30 minutes in snow.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,