Simmer Down, Now!
Sep 09, 2018 | 601 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
People used to have a saying: "Methodists believe in doing all things in moderation, including moderation." I don't know if that's still spoken or whether it's another linguistic victim of the onslaught to take all the fun out of life by feigning outrage over the least little things people say.

In just about all areas of life it can be said that not overdoing things is a key to getting through the day without unnecessarily blowing a personal gasket. We used to say "don't blow a gasket" in reference to when automobiles could "blow a gasket," meaning have a gasket between two metal faces in the engine (such as the water system) fail, resulting often from pressure getting too high in the engine's circulatory system. The term "don't blow a gasket" meant to calm yourself down before you lose your cool.

How often do we create trouble by overdoing it? We get mad about something someone says. We fester. We fume. We think about things we might have said in reply. We think about things we are going to say in some future conversation. We occupy our mind for hours over things that might not have amounted to a hill of beans. We don't allow for misperception on our own part. We don't factor in the state of mind of the person who spoke it.

This doesn't have to be someone we know well. It can be anyone with whom we interact - at the store, in the post office, conducting business at various places. I know people who can fume for days and weeks over something someone said or did that they perceived to be insulting.

The problem with that kind of thinking is that it fails to factor in what we have said or done. The other person is always the bad actor in these dust devils which we whip up in our minds. It's never us! We were just talking. We were just being honest. We were just minding our own business, even if we weren't minding our own business.

We let ourselves off easy and we hold the other person to the highest of standards - the imaginary one we carry around in our brain as we seek to find outrage to justify whatever level of anger some event has produced in us.

This is not the way to go. Good Lord, you'd think people have to pay a heavy personal tax every time they said "hey, can I talk to you about something bothering me?" It's so easy to talk about these things and so fruitless not to do so.

Copyright 2018, Jim "Pappy" Moore, all rights reserved.

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