I’m listening to President Obama’s speak on Afghanistan. He’s at West Point. I listen and listen and hear the disgruntled thoughts of thousands of service men and women. I hear the collective angst of the millions of Americans who feel this war is unjust and want it to end.
I also hear the pain in Obama’s voice when explaining why he’s reversing his campaign pledge to bring our troops home. I sense the wolves at the door…
But I digress. Or do I? This is a stinky situation. Read on.
Today’s diatribe is all about stinky situations including this war. While going to an appointment I passed by a block that had two Ginkgo Biloba trees on it. The seeds were all over the ground burst open spewing their inglorious scent for all to trod on and carry said scent with them.
Chinese people pick these seeds up and take them home to make tea. Why would they bother with this stinky pod? Increased memory? Improved mental faculties for those suffering from dementia and from Alzheimer’s? Sure to both. But did you know that Ginkgo helps people with peripheral vascular disease (PVD)? A current article from WebMD shares new findings from the November 24th, 2009 journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Do I have PVD? Nope. So, why am I so fascinated by this factoid? Simply this. A stinky herb can greatly help people with a myriad of health ailments. So how come a stinky life situation cannot help in a similar way?
To clarify, say you fall and break your leg. Stinky situation right? So, what’s the benefit of breaking one’s leg? I guess for each person there would be a different answer. But say you’re a track star; a broken leg is of no benefit. But, for an overworked nurse a broken leg could mean some time to herself (or himself) to reflect on their life and all the things in it. A silver lining, if you will. See Jennifer Deschler’s blog for an example.
So, a stinky situation can possibly have a good effect. But, you have to be in the right frame of mind to see the positive in it all. How do you find the positive when a young child dies? How do you find a positive in a nasty court case? How do you find the positive in a snarly car accident? How do you find the positive when a loved one dies?
These are all very emotional situations and each one has different nuances for the people that these occurrences befall. The answer will be different from person to person. In fact many people will not see any benefit in a young child dying, or a loved one dying. There are no positives in death, right?
I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. I’m just asking you to consider what you feel to be stinky/bad/undesirable situations and trying to find anything positive that has come from the situation. Many times, people have completely transformed their lives because they went through a horrendous situation one they would never wish on their worst enemy.
What would the person who is experiencing lung cancer who smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day say to a person lighting up for the first time? What would a mother whose child died while playing with fire tell a young child who is fascinated with firecrackers? Yeah these may be obvious but what about the parent who has a child with similar traits as themselves. How does that parent convey their painful life experiences so that the child hears them?
Finding the silver lining takes a certain amount of detachment and a great deal of taking oneself in hand so you manage yourself and your own emotions. If you don’t you’ll never find anything other than the despair stinky situations spew.
Enjoy your reflections…