Tuesday, October 25, 2011
In a meeting, I listen to an elder "statesman" tell a young man that he doesn't belong because he needs psychiatric help. The man sits with a pleading look, like a kid who has been publicly called out by a teacher in class. I wince at his distress and wonder why someone would want to dispense medical advice at a meeting.
I come in contact with people who are rude about their opinions. They stress to me that the problems with the country are due to one man who took office 3 years ago. They talk to me as if I would agree. I share my opinion and am immediately told how wrong I am. I feel as if I have been shut out.
I meet with a young man to work the steps. He tells me that we need to meet every other week because he is too busy. He has too much pressing stuff to get together. I listen and realize that it is not up to me to enforce the schedule.
All of these are real life situations that could easily get me going down a path of anger and resentment. I know that being confrontational is not a solution. And resentments simply seethe under the surface of my psyche until they build up to reach explosive proportions.
In meetings, there are outside issues that aren't addressed by Al- Anon. Religion, mental health problems, politics are examples of topics that Al-Anon has no opinion about (Tradition Ten). Someone will generally get the topic back on track by stating that outside issues aren't addressed. What is difficult for me to do is to embrace that ideal in my real life.
I have opinions on many things. Some of these opinions are strong. What I find is that I can express my opinion without being opinionated. I don't need to get my way or have everyone agree with my point. If I let others have their opinions without trying to change them, then I am not expending emotional energy that will deplete and defeat me.
I like the idea of participating in conversation. Having a dialogue is much better than trying to have my way or carry my point. I am working on this. When I embrace the philosophy of "live and let live", I am a much happier person. I can get along with others by accepting that they have a right to express their thoughts. Restraint of tongue and pen is a good thing.
So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” And anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family. ~ George Carlin
Live and let live is a pretty good philosophy. If the guy in the next lane isn't buckled up, why not leave him alone? ~ Anonymous