Story Eater

Philadelphia Story

Stories are the way we navigate our world, our chance to make sense of who we are and what we do. -Seth Godin

I like TV shows. I love to get into a good story and the very best ones you can get so lost in them, you forget they aren’t real. I’ve watched so many that it’s hard to remember them all. Some are still going strong, some have ended whether gracefully or not. Doctor Who, 24, Lost, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, just to name a few. I’m not sure what captures my attention. It’s not all in the suspense. It’s not all in the realism. It’s really not in the looks or sex appeal of the actors. I’ve watched shows that didn’t cast the best looking, but by a few weeks into them you adored the character and the actor. There’s usually an emotional tug of war. You can feel their struggle, either with their own temptations or their failures. Sometimes they are weak, but yet there’s some part of them you relate to. All I know is they have sucked me into their drama.

I sometimes wonder if this life is like that. If there is an afterlife, maybe we will look back and say, that was a damn good story. It might be like walking out of the movie theater after an intense show. Everything else seems a bit unreal and you just want to run back in and watch the movie again. Yeah I can imagine that.

What do you want your story to say? What emotional flavor is it? Happy? Charming? Cozy? Horror? Eek. That one’s not for me. I have mine pictured in my head. Lots of golden lighting. I update it now and then. I see the person I want to be as I grow older and how I want to live my life. With a name like, Wisdom and Grace. Or Sunlight on Raindrops.

Here is an interesting look at charity as it relates to stories:

What do we get when we give to a good cause?

Why on earth would a rational person give money to charity–particularly a charity that supports strangers? What do they get?

A story.

In fact, every time someone donates to a good cause, they’re buying a story, a story that’s worth more than the amount they donated.

It might be the story of doing the right thing, or fitting in, or pleasing a friend or honoring a memory, but the story has value. It might be the story that you, and you alone are able to make this difference, or perhaps it’s the story of using leverage to change the world. For many, it’s the story of what it means to be part of a community. – Seth Godin

Seth’s  full blog is available if you follow the above link. Thanks for stopping by and being a part of my story..

Enjoy the Breeze

The sun is shining. the breeze is blowing. It’s a gorgeous fall day where I’m at.

When I walk outside on a pretty day, I have a choice. I can enjoy the breeze blowing in my hair and the warmth of the sun shining on my face, or I can complain about the bugs and the dust. It’s easier to say something isn’t right, to say that it’s broken, it’s too hot or too cold, than to just enjoy the day. Why is that? Are we afraid of just enjoying life? It could be. There’s a deeply ingrained superstition that says if say things are going well then you are jinxing it and it will now mess up.

Also in America if you don’t appear to be working hard, if life isn’t a struggle, you are thought to be lazy. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you heard someone say they had enough sleep? Or enough money? The only time I ever hear people talk of too much of something is when they are complaining about the weather or their work load. The great status symbol of being a hard worker. Appearing to be able to handle something makes you look lazy. The unhurried, unruffled commuter is a rare sight.

I know people who can take the simplest jobs and make them look colossally difficult. What would take one person 30 minutes will take the harried worker 3 hours. And woe is me, the stress.

We have to stop this. I have to stop this. Yes, I even catch myself doing it. The people who get attention and sympathy are the ones who complain the most. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. When I was in my 20s I’d listen to people moan about their lives. How difficult it was to walk in their shoes. Most of the time I pretended that things were easy even if they weren’t because I didn’t want to be considered incompetent. And it’s possible my life was easy compared to theirs. But I had kids, taught volunteer classes, worked, moved 5 times, got divorced and continued living. Looking back now with some perspective I realize, no, their life wasn’t super difficult. It was just them. They needed people to feel sorry for them, or think of them as capable, strong people. They had to toot their own horn a bit.

My choice is to make a fuss, complain, moan, and gripe or I can enjoy my life as it is. Mostly life isn’t that difficult. We make it complicated.  I don’t need to seem important. I only came here to enjoy the breeze.

In All Humility and Arrogance, I Say….

Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
I used to be foolish and believe what people told me. I do hope I have grown past that by now. Other’s have said that they could look people in the eye and tell what type of person it is. I don’t have that gifting I guess. All I see are blue or green and if they have cataracts. For me that is like looking under the hood of my car. I can stare all day at the oil dipstick and the battery cable but I can’t tell a darn thing about the vehicle and why it won’t start.

My way goes back to SHOW me who you are. Yes, people can fake it, but not for long. Something of who the real person is will leak out. I had an incident happen this week that reminded me of this. I was having a conversation with someone and they had said something but meant another, like “I went to Paris” when they meant to say “I went to France”. I was no big deal, but she was shocked, believing she SAID what she had THOUGHT, because obviously her brain doesn’t get her words mixed up. At that moment I received a very clear picture of that person. Here is a person who never faults herself. It’s not so much that she doesn’t think she is capable of error, more that she couldn’t see it. Do you know the time when you got that car, maybe the blue one because not too many people had a blue car and especially not the brand that you had. Then suddenly you see blue cars everywhere. You COULDN’T see them before, but now they are everywhere. In that way SHE couldn’t SEE that she could make an error and didn’t take it into consideration. In her thinking we heard her wrong. Hmmm, all 5 of us.

This is the difference, in my eyes, of arrogance and humility. The arrogant cannot SEE the flaws in their judgement. Their opinion is correct because THAT is all they see. To contrast, there are the humble. And to that extreme there are the self abasing humble people who need to see themselves as well as others. These are the ones who have been long considered low on self esteem and self conscious. Psychologist have been telling them they have a flaw and god know that they are aware of this and they cringe. They want to hide. They see their flaws and are very aware that of the errors of their ways.

It’s time for some moderation. It is good to see others and to give to them and be kind to them, but remember that there are the arrogant ones, who will never see you except to use you as an example or an icon to prove their “rightness.” You had best move out of their way and shut your doors. The arrogant won’t read this so I’m not talking to them because they know more than me anyway. So to the humble I say, Be good to yourself today. Show yourself some love and lock your doors.