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Written Sunday 05/04/08 by Joe Rossini

In this weekís lesson, letís discuss how facing the facts of life head on, in a very positive way, can help us all reduce the stress caused by our reactions to negative people and events. Many events that happen in the world around us are really tough to swallow. And unless we live in a cave, isolated from all other human beings, we are going to be exposed to a lot of negative media and will have to interact daily with people who display poor judgment and behavior. Itís just inevitable that we must deal with some individuals who are inefficient, uncaring and downright ignorant. At times we may even feel betrayed by those we are close with and love and trust dearly. However, as Frank Sinatra said ďThatís Life,Ē and itís your job to adapt to it. Life is full of both positives and negatives and you must accept that this is the setup.

I believe that our characters are tested daily, to see how we can adapt to or react to the people and events around us. No one is immune to these tests. You are not exempt from the daily testing of your character if you are young, old, rich, poor or famous. You are not exempt by education, race, creed, or social status. Everyone is tested. Now, how do you react to YOUR daily test? Do you live in anger or depression and need medication to get you through the day? Or maybe you just want to get even with everyone that does something you disapprove of? Or perhaps you can just accept that everyone is different and that you are not going to be around long enough to have the time it will take to change the ugliness that sometimes surrounds us.

I believe itís just plain healthy to always stop to remind yourself that every human being is born without any knowledge of this world. Because of this, everything has to be learned. And since everything has to be learned, mistakes are unavoidable. Thus, try to remember this when a clerk at a retail store is rude to you, or if someone is inconsiderate. These are some of the human errors that people sometimes make. Realize that after you leave the store, that very same clerk may think to himself, ďYou know what; maybe I should have been a little nicer to that customer.Ē In other words, the clerk may change his attitude by learning from his mistake.

Another point to keep in mind is itís probably impossible to change this learning process of life. The only thing that might change it is if all humans were born with complete knowledge of every variable in our universe and knew the exact and perfect way to act in every situation. Thatís just not how it is. We are born without any knowledge, and our life is a journey to UNDERSTAND how all of the variables in the universe work. It definitely helps to be surrounded by good role models to learn from. However the learning process goes on every day of our lives. The universe operates in a specific way, and men and women will continue to make mistake after mistake until they learn to get it right and hopefully adapt and change in a positive way.

So if mistakes are part of the equation, how should we act when they are made by others? Well, if someone is rude to you, you can be rude right back. If someone yells at you, you can yell right back. Thatís one way to go about it. However, with that response, the errors are compounded. Instead of one mistake, there are now two. Instead of one poor choice, there are now two. Using these strategies, our world and our lives are worse off.

Maybe thereís a better way. After all, we all want to be happier and would like our world to enjoy profits; not suffer losses right? If a clerk is rude to you, CHOOSE to be NICE right back to him or her. If you choose to do so, you graduate from ďfighting fire with fireĒ to ďfighting fire with water.Ē Our world ends up with one poor judgment, followed by one good judgment. Thatís a better score than two poor judgments!

After all, you donít have to work on changing the entire world, just work on changing yourself and how you deal with situations in your life. Too many individuals are preoccupied with changing others. Itís much easier to point fingers outward instead of inward; especially when you believe you could stay the same, and everyone else must change. Few stop to think that when you change YOURSELF for the better, you are GUARANTEEING that you are changing the world in some small wayÖ.for the better.

What I am advocating here is to accept the facts of life. We are only on this planet in our conscious state for a short visit. Start today to make that visit the most productive and joyous you can. Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive people who are nice to be around. Accept the fact that there are negative people and events that are not going away no matter how angry you get. Take their negative ways in stride, and donít let them get the best of you. Donít waste your time trying to analyze and change them. They will drain every last ounce of energy and health from your body. Make your short visit to our beautiful planet the absolute best you can and enjoy every day!

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