I find myself getting so frustrated with cranky, gossipy, negative, dramatic, whiny adults.
As we get older, I believe we have two broad paths to walk down. One is full of virtues — honesty, integrity, kindness, love, joy, calm, peace, healthfulness, consideration, compassion. The other is dark and filled with bitterness, hostility, rage, anger, jealousy, envy, gossip, revenge, and so on.
Our choices determine the path on which we travel.
I’m not saying that once you step on the dark path, you’re destined to be a grumpy old man (or woman). We all have bad days or cranky moments. We all make choices we regret. No one is perfect but God. We all lash out in anger once in a while. And we might meander along the path, coming close to the dark side then wander back. Or we might even spend a little time actually on that darker path but we can make other choices that bring us back to a softer, more compassionate zone.
But for now, for today, the people who frustrate (or actually sadden) me are the kind of people who repeatedly look for (and find) dark clouds on a beautiful, bright, (otherwise) sun-filled day. Like the woman in my tennis clinic who started shouting that she didn’t know that the rules for singles tennis meant you had to play without the doubles lanes and got really upset in the middle of the lesson (we were not even playing a match!).
I guess I should check myself and try to find that compassionate place within myself where I can accept my acquaintances for who they are and tolerate them. Perhaps my standards are too high. Their grievances may be deep seated and have little to do with me.
Well, maybe so. That doesn’t mean, however, that I have to hang out with them or invite them over for dessert and coffee, right?