Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Faulty Design

“Unless you start doing something different, you’re in for more of the same.” ~Author unknown.

Have you ever met someone who will complain daily about life, but won’t do anything to change the dynamics of it? They are genuinely distressed about the dramas repeatedly unfolding in their lives, but if one ever suggests changing some of the causing factors, they instantly become defensive, and are immediately ready to wear self-pity as armor.

Believing we are victims of an unkind destiny is much easier than accepting that we are largely responsible for our own failures through our choices. Life deals undesirable cards at times, but what will ultimately cause us to win or lose is how we choose to play the game.

Let’s imagine that a man is planning to build a home. If he’s unaware of the strong storms that habitually hit the area, he might choose the wrong materials, the wrong design, or might even build in a risky area. When the first storm hits, the home will likely suffer substantial damage. After the storm is over, if he rebuilds with the same type of materials, same design and in the same zone, the house is going to be destroyed or heavily damaged again. Over and over he repeats the same mistakes, and, all along, he complains about the weather and the unfairness of destiny. If a Good Samaritan comes along, and points out the faults in the design - or barely attempts to suggest alternative materials - the man indignantly turns away from the stranger and goes back to work; he replaces the boards with more of the same, and follows the same building plan. All along he curses God and angels for putting him through all the work, and the stranger is also not spared a few colorful words for daring to judge and come forth with suggestions.

In reality, the man never meant to improve the home; rather, he used the adverse conditions to justify his shortcomings. Mostly, he was happy to have a place in the spotlight, wearing a victim’s costume.

The man has two choices: he can accept his stubbornness - and continue living under precarious conditions - or he can make changes and improve his situation; simply being angry or weepy about the disasters he facilitated through his own poor choices only serves him to lose more energy and funds, and does nothing to relieve his misery.

If we keep building the same faulty house and complain about it, maybe we should take a step back and really look at what we have created. If we are not happy with what we see, it is okay to admit to our mistakes and seek a new path to walk. Once we do, our friends will be happy to talk and listen to us, for they will be eager to hear a new story told for the first time.