The Kindness Factor

I was been puzzling over my recent uptick in annoyance levels when I read a brilliant response to an advice column titled "I work with the most annoying man alive."

It begins:

Perhaps you could think of this as your own personal version of the Fear Factor, only it is the Kindness Factor. How could you possibly handle such an annoying guy with kindness? Kind people are in general happy, patient, and lovable people; maybe you could use this guy to help in your own personal development!

I really like this construct. It turns self-inflicted victimization into a personal challenge. I think people tend to feel better about most anything as long as they think they have some degree of control over what happens. Sometimes, of course, the only control we have is how we frame the situation in our own mind, but that's often enough to quell the beast within.

I've been busy taming the beast as of late while wrestling with some personal crises. I find that the less external control I seek and the more internal control I take, the happier I am. The way to tame the beast seems to be in tiny increments; each decision is prefaced with "is this going to reduce stress or create it?" I sent a quick thought via text message that apparently didn't make it onto the blog, so here it is: (edit: this is one of those quotes I've internalized so deeply I thought I came up with it. )
Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional.

I think that nicely rolls up the 4 Noble Truths into a tidy package.

(aside: the mom next to me is asking her toddler "You like cheezburger? You like eet?" It made me LOL.)

No comments: