Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. – C.S. Lewis
What does that mean?
This is another age-old truth. It is easy to be benevolent when things are going your way. It’s easy to be happy, to be generous, gregarious, and all those other fun things, so long as the sun is shining, so to speak.
However, when things aren’t going as well, it’s a little harder to be happy, isn’t it? It’s harder to be kind, to be generous, to be benevolent, or even be nice. When we are annoyed, it becomes part of who we are, and what we project to others.
What does that tell us about ourselves as people? To me, this quote urges us to be aware of how our mood, specifically how annoyed we are, as this has a serious impact on how we react to others. I believe it also urges us to try to be more positive in our outlook and towards each-other.
Why is a positive attitude important?
What would life be like if you were always annoyed and acting grumpy? How much fun would you have? How many friends would you have, and how often would they stop by? How likely would they be to return your calls, even if it were urgent, or even an emergency?
Flip that over, and consider what life would be like if you were always in a good mood, and nothing ever annoyed you. How much fun would you have? How many friends would you have, and how often would they stop by? How likely would they be to return your calls, even if it were urgent, or even an emergency?
That’s quite a difference, isn’t it? While most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes, wouldn’t it be nice if you could be a little more like the person who was in a good mood than the grouchy one? The question that flows from that is “Who is in control of your mood?”
I hope you answered that only you had any control over your reaction to circumstances, and only you could chose your mood. It’s not always easy, but I hope you realize deep down inside that this is the truth.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I’m not certain of your ability to avoid being annoyed, but I imagine that most of us could stand to improve our ability to avoid the annoyance factor. Everyone runs into things that annoy them from time to time.
Someone forgot to pick up their laundry. Someone left dishes in the sink. Someone cut you off in traffic. Someone littered. Someone changed the toilet seat from your preferred positioning. Your pen ran out of ink, or your pencil broke off. That someone might even have been you, right?
The question is how do we deal with life’s little annoyances. Do we imitate a balloon and pop at the first little prick? Or do we hoard them until we can use then as weapons against a target deserving of our ire (or who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time)?
Or do we find a way to allow them to roll off our backs like water on a duck? Yes, it’s not always easy, as there are various levels of annoyed. And I hope you recognize that if you allow them to, your annoyances can stack up and cause a reaction quite out of proportion to that specific annoyance, right?
Try to think of something that used to annoy you, but you can tolerate a little better now. What has changed? Have you developed a little thicker skin, better able to handle the annoyance? Or has the action become less annoying? Why was there a change?
One technique that I use to try to better handle the annoyance is to forgive the person for being annoying, and then try to help them find a better way to work with the situation. If they are drumming their fingers on the table, try getting them to do so on their legs. They get the finger exercise, and you get the quiet.
Perhaps you find inconsiderate people to be annoying. Perhaps they don’t know or understand your rules. Perhaps they were raised in a barn or by a pack of wild dogs. Can you try to work with these people, to inform them of what they are doing, and help then find things to do that are less annoying to you, but still satisfy their needs?
I would urge you to try giving them forgiveness, and move on with your life. Yes, it’s not going to help them get any better, but it might just help you, and that’s what really matters. What do you want to be known for, your temper, or your kindness and benevolence?
Be kind, be compassionate, be forgiving, be understanding, be benevolent. Not because nothing is annoying you, but because it is who you are. Make it part of you, your attitude towards life and towards others. Like anything else worth having, it won’t be easy, and there will be failures.
I believe the end result is worth the effort. Try it and see if you agree.
From: Twitter, @CSLewisDaily
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/535222-everyone-feels-benevolent…
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