My teenage daughter gets very frustrated when things don’t go the way she planned. Slowly, very slowly, I am trying to teach her that the only thing she has total control over is her reaction to things. Nothing else can be controlled – the weather, the traffic, other people. We can only control how we react to things.
Yesterday I walked past a group of about six young kids playing. There was only one little girl with the group of boys. Just as I passed the little girl told the others that she would “be right back guys”. One little boy promptly responded, “I don’t care!” A little harsh perhaps. However, it got me thinking that there are different ways the little girl could handle the situation. She could run away crying and have that one comment ruin the rest of her afternoon. Or, she could choose to ignore the comment, assume that the rest of the kids do “care”, go and do whatever she has to do and then come back and continue to play.
I know it’s not easy to do the latter. It’s very easy to get caught up in someone else’s stuff and let it affect you. However, how much better is that little girl’s day going to be if she chooses to ignore that one small comment? And let’s face it, we don’t know why the boy said it – maybe he really didn’t care or maybe he just wanted to sound cool because he really likes her. You can’t know! So why pretend that you can and let it ruin your day.
I read somewhere that the Dalai Lama says not to let anyone steal your joy. Good advice. You have total control of your joy, your mood, your reaction. I hope that little girl didn’t let that one mindless comment steal her joy.