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Wednesday
Nov302011

Are you kidding me?!

“This is a perfect day”, thought the fish.  Swimming around in the bowl, wondering if it should do laps or circles.  It could see Sally and her brother looking out the window as Mom was away for a bit.  So peaceful. 

Then the cat showed up.  “That’s not good”, thought the fish.

The first sign of trouble was how happy-go-lucky he appeared in that tall stupid crooked hat – so crooked hat it couldn’t even stand up straight!  “How improper for this perfectly good day.  The boy appears alarmed because Mom is gone and that cat is here.  That’s not good.  Oh, dear.  Shenanigans! Hey...my water is splashing too much!”  It only took minutes to go from peaceful to pandemonium.

“WAIT!  Are you kidding me!?  If that damn cat isn’t enough..now we have Thing 1 and Thing 2 creating an apocalyptic atmosphere in my home!”, freaked the fish.

Can you relate?  You arrive at work on a perfectly good day, doing your perfectly happy job, having your perfect latte in your perfect office, then the phone rings with someone on the other end who didn’t have their perfectly good coffee of choice yet.  Or the office drama queen walks into your office with meltdown of the moment.  Maybe your computer isn’t working and you have a deadline.  There is a host of “Are you kidding me?!” moments that span a day...if you let them.

I just read a great blog post, attributed to Buddha, that might help you if you are having a day/week/life that the fish did in Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” story:

Buddha was travelling in the company of several other people. One of the travelers began to test Buddha by responding to anything he had to say with disparaging, insulting, hurtful remarks.  Every day for next three days, the traveler verbally abused Buddha, calling him a fool, arrogantly ridiculing him in any way he could.  Finally, after three days of that ongoing behavior, the rude traveler could stand it no longer! He asked Buddha, "How can you continue to be so kind and loving when all I've done for the last three days is dishonor, offend and try to find ways to hurt you?  Each time I try to hurt you, you respond in a kind manner?  How can this be?!"  The Buddha responded with a question for his fellow traveler, "If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does the gift belong?"

The next time your perfectly good day appears to be rattled by some outside influence, you now have another option other than, “Are you kidding me?!” with which to respond.  You can take the "gift"...or not.

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