I have read an awful lot of self help books… and I need to read a lot more. In all of them, they point out that you should have something that you are striving for that transcends all the scrapes and bruises you are going to experience along the way. As soon as you lose the vision of those things you are striving for, the crush of the daily grind will pulverize you mentally. So you often hear motivational speakers telling you not to sweat the small stuff.
But small stuff is only small when you have that huge goal ahead of you that fills your vision, even when the “small stuff” is on the horizon. If you let it become the main thing in your life, any small problem can be overwhelming. In fact, without a vision of something better, small stuff is not small at all. It is enough to make you break into a cold sweat!
If you look around at the world – social media is a good place to take a snapshot of society – you see a world full of pain and suffering. People are hurting, and they need help. Sometimes help is financial, sometimes it is emotional… and other times it is just jumping in and helping them by getting involved. Remember the small stuff? It isn’t small to everyone. In fact, it may be the vision that they have to finally overcome that hurdle, because it helps them deal with the small stuff in their lives.
I personally could not envision having to endure constant war in my life. Yet many people have known only war all their lives. The sound of gunfire is what they hear before going to sleep at night and what awakens them in the morning. While I may feel inconvenienced when my coffee maker only makes half a cup when I pressed the full cup button, they may not have electricity that morning because someone drove a truck bomb into the local power station.
I find myself looking at social media and the way people behave toward their fellow human beings. They really do not understand that treating others with no respect is tantamount to driving a truck filled with explosives into the local power plant. It damages their psyche, imperceptibly, perhaps, but it does cause pain and suffering. Yet the hate and the intolerance is emboldened, because the other person is on the other side of the internet. Heck, a sports group I am on it Facebook has a policy where people are banned for being disrespectful of another person’s opinion. I agree with that policy, but it should not be something that is needed. Yet people are consistently being banned because they don’t like someone’s opinion and they feel the need to make them feel stupid because they hold that opinion.
You really need to think about why someone believes what they believe. It is the question that is not asked. My cousin often asks me why I believe the things that I do politically, because we do not agree on a whole lot when it comes to politics. I sometimes take the questions as an insult, because sometimes my belief system takes a defensive position when it should allow itself to be questioned. After all, some of the politics that we are fed are just smoke and mirrors – and I mean all parties do it. They take one issue that is very divisive and blend it into other topics so that you have to take issue with the other, milder topics if you still want to be right about your main issue. I won’t go into specifics, because this is not a political post, it is a post about what constitutes small stuff to each of us. Just look at the political news with a broader view sometime. Don’t try to force it into your conservative, liberal, moderate, extremist box or look at it through the lens that those groups pass out to their members. Look at it from a neutral human perspective.
I write all of this to make a point. Things that I used to think were small stuff just 10 years ago have managed to become mountains after losing both of my parents, two good friends and an uncle who was like a second father to me in that short span. Those losses each helped me refocus a little bit on what was right in front of me and not as much on what is down the road. So a lot of my life has changed in ways that you might not consider very big… because your focus is not the same as mine. I choose to focus on the short term right now, because I want to enjoy the time I have on this planet with the people I was fortunate enough to be surrounded with during my time here! Sometimes breaking a sweat on small stuff is just what the doctor ordered, when you want to show someone you care about them.
I can only imagine, what this world would be like, if more people worried about other people in their lives instead of the person in the mirror…