Life is a choice as much as it is a perspective. Ill winds will blow at our candles over and over again; the mendacity of some people who choose to reside in their smallness is one we can’t be sheltered from. It seems that this world is divided between those who love to encourage others and others who live to demolish people. The choice then is ours to either gaze into the navel of the haters or look ahead and only listen to those who have good intentions for us.
I write this as I reflect on what took place in the past 24 hours. Yesterday was a blessed day for me; the morning started wonderfully as the essence of love pushed me to keep thinking audaciously and to match my audacity with perseverance. Between a cup of coffee and the embrace of love’s grace, I was determined to move forward and see what blessings that Fort Collins had to offer. In the middle of winter, Northern Colorado was kissed by 75 degree weather as the sun bathed the town with calm winds and a magnificent climate. I detailed the many ways that I found bon chance and good fortunes by way of strangers who sanctified me with kindness and benevolence on the article I posted last evening titled “the Duality of Life” (link).
The article was about the essence of good and bad residing in the same space and how we have to appreciate the beauty and the ugliness of this world for one can’t exist without the presence of the other. How easy it is though to write and reflect but the harder task is to synthesize and internalize the things we pray for and ask to bless us. When the evening ended, I found myself back at home and as soon as I walked into the common area, my happiness was inverted into annoyance by the sinister greeting of a small minded midget. I won’t even try to be pious and pretend that these things don’t bother me; this dude who barely knows me went out of his way to manifest his brokenness unto my spirit because I had the temerity to walk in smiling.
The more you smile is the more the gnomes of this world try their hardest to convert your smile into sadness. Thus I went to sleep annoyed last night only to be awoken to yet more petty antics by someone who chose to preach maturity while practicing the petulance of a kindergartner. Because I have yet to let go of my need to get the last word in, I smiled at this parroting toddler and said “oh wow you get to preach against immaturity by making it seem you have it all together but you just used abrasive language to prove points and showed yourself to be a through and through hypocrite.” The guy walked away quickly because those who try to shine at the expense of others sure tuck tail and run the minute they realize their attempt to shine at the expense of others is like the moon shinning at the expense of the sun when their supposed superiority runs into someone who is more articulate than them.
I’ll admit, for a moment it felt good to turn the tables on this unoriginal fool. I thought of myself as Matt Damon when he shoved the petulance of the Harvard student right down his throat in Good Will Hunting. Meeting petulance with petulance feels good temporarily for it’s a form of instant gratification that soothes our ids and our egos. But then temporal pleasure gives way to irritation for meeting the cynicism of others with anger and spite plants into our spirit a sense of antipathy that washes away the blessings that are abundant in the world—instant gratification gives way to enduring acrimony and animus.
It is best to look past the pettiness of others and instead focus on the bounty that is meant for us. I am not preaching when I say this for I am writing these words for me as I am for the readers. Gazing into the navel of muckery will lead over and over again to misfortune and misery for there is no profit to be had when we invest our time focusing on the brokenness and the ill-spirits of others. If we focus on misery of this world, what we will bear is thistles and thorns. But if we choose to focus on the wonders about us and the blessings that are abundant around us, the fruits that we will bear will be yet more abundance and happiness. I owe this wisdom I gained to the counsel of my friend Schmidty (link) who was patient enough to hear out my frustrations at church and then dropped a pearl of wisdom without saying too much.
So next time some person tries to bury your happiness into the abyss of nothingness, do not take the bait for their aim is to make you reside in their gloom and anguish. If you can, pray for these people for their brokenness is what is making them lash out in order to hurt others. But at the very least, look past the navels of ogres and trolls and instead focus on the abundance ahead. We become that which we spend our time on the most; if we choose to fight miserable people in order to defeat them, we too will end up miserable for we give our hands to those who want to gnaw at our fingers. The better course is to let go and focus on the cozmo that can be mondo if only we seek gains instead of aiming to prove points. #MondoCozmoFocus
You can succeed on your own but you can’t sustain without God::
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.