Thursday, 17 July 2008
Don't worry... be happy!
Life is all about choices isn't it?
I often feel that we can choose whether to be happy or sad. One of TBH's favourite phrases is 'the difference between winners and loser's is that loser's blame other's whilst winner's take responsibility for their own actions'.
It's often been a difficult philosophy for me to swallow, but I have to admit that he is right. (Darn it I hate those admissions!)
What has bought on this bout of introspection I hear you ask. Well I was comparing the tales of Jeanne Socrates, who lost her boat last month 100 miles from completing a circumnavigation, and 'Captain' Heather, who managed to get 100 miles in her much trumpeted solo-circumnavigation, before calling it quits 'cos her phone ran out of minutes and she hurt her thumb.
Okay thats a bit of a generalized synopsis but it does illustrate a huge difference in mindset. Jeanne, who lost her boat, at the end of a round the world trip has just posted a note on her website talking about regrouping herself, getting back on the water and buying a new boat. Captain Heather wrote reams on her experience and how horrid people had been to her and put the boat up for sale. Mmn ,wonder what that tells us about their characters!
Sometimes I think that its just a simple choice of whether to be happy or not. TBH says its not that simple, he believes that some people are born happy whilst there is no pleasing others. I tell him at frequent intervals how fortunate he is to have me as I fall in to the 'happy' category...well most of the time!
What I do observe is how some days though I need to make the decision to 'be happy'...and do you know I find that it works. Simply by affirming out loud to somebody that I am happy that morning can be enough to turn the day around! Of course I do have a lot to be happy about... but it wasn't always like this and I was still fundamentally a happy person. So maybe its in the genes after all.
Yesterday morning we met an interesting couple in the hotel lobby. They were Canadians running a scheme to help set up schools in remote areas of central and Southern America. They told us of their experiences in Guatemala as they were assisting an isolated village to develop an educational facility and how that was affecting all areas of the life of the community.It's an interesting observation that after a year here I am initially extremely sceptical when talking to people that I perceive as 'aid workers'. It's a difficult one for me. I can totally understand why they want to help a country such as this that seems to lack so much to our Western eyes but underneath I wonder just what we are doing to the recipients of our largesse.
Don't get me wrong I believe there are some extremely worthwhile initiatives here but equally, and I am thinking of the grasping missionary Brent Borthwick here, there are charlatans and misguided projects a-plenty everywhere you look.