Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's All In How You Look At It

Something Amberlilies posted made me remember a class I had in college, and something the professor taught us. He was teaching us a healthier way to look at life. I think I was already like this to an extent, because I'm very pragmatic, but it has helped me to lighten up. Let me see if I can repeat the lesson for you.

Imagine that you are preparing a special dinner for some guests. Let's imagine that you have decided to prepare a broiled salmon, some delicious garlic mashed potatoes, some fresh green beans, a fresh salad, some dinner rolls, and for dessert a lemon meringue pie. Now I would like you to take a moment and rate this meal on a scale of 1-10. I'm easy to please, so I would probably rate it about a 8 or 9.

Your guests arrive and you begin to put the food on the table. You are enjoying talking with them when you realize that you have neglected the salmon, and it has burned horribly. You pull it out of the oven, and can see that it is unsalvageable. You have already put the potatoes, and green beans, salad and rolls on the table. The guests are waiting hungrily. Now rate your dinner on a scale of 1-10.

Most of us would be tempted to say that the meal is now a zero because the salmon is ruined. But if you really look at it, you still have some delicious potatoes, a nice salad, fresh dinner rolls, and a great dessert. If you had planned this menu from the beginning, what would you have rated it on a scale of 1-10? I don't know about you, but I would still give this meal a 4 or 5.

I have found that so many times in my life, when I thought that things were horrible, if I looked at the bright side of things, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Sometimes our expectations are so high, that we don't leave any room for real life to happen. A black and white view of life can only make us unhappy. Life doesn't happen in absolutes most of the time. I think having children teaches us that we need to be flexible, and enjoy life despite the little mishaps that occur. Things may not always happen as we envision them, but we can still take joy in how it turns out.

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