Awareness, not acceptance

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 10:50 AM | comments: 0

I haven't been good at coming up with my own ideas to write about lately, but Carrie is my muse of late. She wrote this:

"There has to be a balance between choosing a less negative approach to viewing the world around you and still being realistic about the facts as they present themselves.  I fear there is too much emphasis today on teaching people (particular kids) that they should build their realities around how they perceive things to be."

I tend to agree with this sentiment. (DANGER: Rant ahead.) I also firmly believe that the real key to dealing with your world effectively is self-awareness. Every time someone tells me that "things happen for a reason" or some other bullshit I want to punch them in the balls. That offers me no peace or consolation, and it sure as hell isn't a reason to accept what happens. You deal by understanding what's going on, not by blowing it off to cosmic forces or trivializing it relative to someone else's situation.

In other words, you make yourself aware, and then you take responsibility for the next step. This is called being a grown up. Shit happens. Identify the shit, then clean it up, toss it aside, whatever is required.

That Carrie brings up jobs as an example is pretty classic. People love to bitch about their jobs, and worse, act like victims. I recently met a guy at work who is like that, and will bitch to anyone who will listen. You know what, grow a pair and do something about it. That annoys the piss out of me. I also can't stand when people suggest that you should be happy just to have a job. Really? Like it's some golden privilege that's been bestowed upon your lowly carcass? Please. If that's the bar with which you measure your life, you will be one miserable bastard.

So much of life can be better when you're self-aware. I'm not suggesting that you should be critical of everything you do to a fault, I'm just saying that if you're honest about life, the universe and everything, you have the right data to act on it. I have a list of things I don't like about myself, but I can choose to change them. I have a list of things that I also know I'm really good at, and I try to use those traits to improve my life. I do my best to be aware of the constraints, the opportunities and the environment at large to make better choices.

Yeah, everything happens for reasons, and they're rarely hard to find. Just don't sit there and act like a victim.


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