Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE


“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” ~ Joseph Addison

On Selah farm (our little piece of heaven on earth) we have two cows, T-Bone and Lulu. Lulu is a drama queen.

Right away, Lulu and I got off on the wrong hoof when she first came to live with us because she cleared the fence to my butterbean patch and helped herself. I was so angry! But after a few weeks had passed and I could actually laugh about it, I wrote a humor article regarding the incident and sold it to a magazine.

Now Lulu has another drama in her life—she doesn’t think life is fair. How do I know? Well, I’ve sorta learned her language. You see, T-Bone has been named that for a reason.

(I’ll let you figure that out)

He is at the “graining-off” portion of his life. In the evening he gets to go into a special pen and eat special food—food that Lulu likes. It is a mixture of corn and sweet feed. While he takes his time noshing the special food, she stands on the other side of the pen and bawls like a T-Rex. I can tell she is saying, “Not fair! Not fair! Not fair!” T-Bone never looks up from his trough. She doesn’t need “fattening up” if you know what I mean, but I give her a scoop to help ease her emotional pain.

Soon she will be in the pen for an entirely different reason. We want Lulu to be a mother.

(I’ll let you figure that one out, too!)

Lulu’s problem is that she doesn’t have perspective. She has no idea what awaits T-Bone. She only sees things as they appear. And as we know, life isn’t always as it appears.

Years ago, when Neal worked for the Arkansas State Lab, his job was changed from diagnostics to avian serology (chicken blood). I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so disappointed, or frustrated. However, from this change led to his getting a Ph.D and today he is one of the VP’s at Tyson Foods.

Life is a matter of perspective. We have to tell ourselves the truth about our situation, not play on the bars of our mental jungle gym with the what if’s or might be’s, if only’s or could have’s.

When my mind turns into a monkey and starts swinging around my head, I grab a tablet and list all the things I know to be true. I count my blessings. This helps improve my perspective and I get a better idea of the direction I should go.

This week, don’t be like Lulu, bawling on the other side of the fence when it appears life is unfair. Take a moment to count your blessings. Write them down and put them where you can refer to them when your mind tries to begin its mental gymnastics.

I like this quote from Abraham Lincoln:
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away."



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