we've all been in the same situation:
long flight, crying baby, helpless mother, eye rollers galore, sensitive & compassionate human traveling who empathizes with said helpless mother.
hell, i've been all of them.
do you notice how the first question we ask the crying child (who often can communicate most powerfully through crying),
when someone's having a bad day, week, month, we continue to ask 'what's wrong?' thinking we'll get to the root of the issue.
when things aren't going your way, you ask yourself 'what's wrong?'
why do we bring attention and focus to all of the things that are making us upset, sad, angry, resentful when we are already all of those things?
what if when we traveled with crying children, we instead focused on the AWE-some earth we see below us, or the clouds we get to fly through, or the sky in which we are so high?
what if instead of steaping in all of those things we no longer want to feel, we brought attention to all of the things that just are?
or, better yet: what if, instead of making ourselves more of what we already are (angry, resentful, yucky), we declare all of the things we want to feel or be when we get through it?
because, for the most part, we do. we get through the sadness we feel when we lose something or someone (and yes, it often takes time), we get through the blowout fights with spouses, we get though the crucial conversations with best friends, co-workers, managers. we do...we are, after all, very resilient beings.
what if, just like the crying child on my flight today, we focused on the beautiful strawberries in the book that the mother used as a distraction, or the opportunity we have to travel (and come home to a family I adore), or the choice we can make to sit in our sorrows or overcome with more zeal?
i'd much prefer to focus on the things i'll learn or the feelings i'd like to feel instead of pouring more salt into the wound.
no, that doesn't mean i'm giving two thumbs up to ignorance or not feeling the pain, i'm just convinced that gratitude and happiness can overcome a whole lot of 'bad' in the world.
and since i'm all about increasing the gratitude and happiness metric, next time, i'll ask,
'hey, what's right?'
maybe that will give space to talk about how red the strawberries are, or how blue the sky is.