Two simple choices

Shantideva (8th century) said:

‘If there is a remedy when trouble strikes, what reason is there for dejection? And if there is no help for it, what use is there in being glum?’

Such simple common sense, but so hard to put into practice! It is so difficult to accept things or circumstances we don’t want, even when they are things we clearly cannot change. You can change your hair colour,for example, but not your family (even though the prospect may sometimes be attractive !). So the only option is to accept your family. Minimize contact by all means if that’s what you want; but your mother will always be your mother, your father, your father, your siblings, your brothers and sisters etc. Ranting and raging against your rotten luck in being born into such a family will harm only you.

Gary Zukav says: ‘The amount of stress in your life is in direct proportion to how much you resist your life.’

In a wonderful Far Side  cartoon, two devils stand amid the flames of hell and watch as sweating, dejected men wheel barrow-loads of coal through the smoke and heat. One smiling barrow-pusher whistles as he works. One devil says to the other: ‘You know, we’re just not reaching that guy.’

What do you do to remain peaceful and happy in the face of adverse circumstances?  


About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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