Responding Instead of Reacting

12 05 2013


Life can be an ‘adventurous’ voyage on which I need to remind myself that I choose my responses to situations, rather than react to circumstances. I have indulged in the latter too much in my life, and am weary of it. It is so damned easy to slip into a state of mind where I am taken away in a rushing current of negativity – sometimes not even being conscious I am there! Once I realize that I have slipped into a bad state of existence, I can return to focusing on what is important and pertinent for the time being. For example, recently I began to react to situations in which I have to deal with some blatantly unconscious people, who are neo-reactionary. When situations arise around them, they react and react and react. And, when conditions get progressively worse, guess what? Yes, you likely predicted, they react even more! This leads to malcontents further stirring the pots of negativity, as they feed on the adverse atmosphere.

Reactionaries often do not choose to be at all aware of the entire situation they deal with, instead selecting negative assumptions and heaping blame upon others. Hell, they just can’t be wrong about anything. It is easier to turn unwelcome observations 180 degrees and fire them back. I admit, encounters with such people do bother me. I sometimes carry the pain of these people with me, until I realize some simple truths and then disown the nonsense.  Did I create the problems? Do I need ownership in something I did not generate? Did I make situations unnecessarily convoluted and complicated? Did I plunder others’ valuable time? In a word, the answer is ‘no’, to all the questions. In short, the negativity is not mine unless I buy into it. I am thankful that I left most of the problem where it belongs – firmly in the hands of those who make it their business to create problems. I know that all I can do is respond to situations and, as the ghost of Hamlet’s father noted, to be true to myself.  As far as the reactionaries go, I am not expecting any epiphanies soon, but, then again, that is not my business. It is better to focus upon on what I can do, and to choose to focus on those I love. Two of these people, my wife and eldest daughter, are in the picture above. They matter.