I have on so many occasions worked to convey the thought that it’s impossible to control the world you live in, or the people with whom you live. Time passes. Incidences occur, both good and bad, and asking, “Why me, G-d?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” won’t solve anything. The only recourse you have is to ask yourself, “How am I going to react or deal with the hand life has dealt me?”
The reason I choose to convey this thought again is a patient directed my attention to a story he found on the Internet, which I felt clearly demonstrated this concept in a palpable and humorous manner. So, I’d like to share that story with you.
A woman in a supermarket followed a grandfather and his badly behaved 3-year-old grandson as they traversed the various aisles. It was obvious to her he had his hands full with the child screaming for candy in the candy aisle, cookies in the cookie aisle, a drink in the drink aisle, fruit in the produce aisle and cereal in the breakfast aisle. All the while, Grandpa worked his way around, saying ever so frequently in a very controlled and compassionate voice, “Easy, William, we won’t be long … you’ll leave in a short time, so take it easy, boy. …”
Still another outburst occurred and she heard the grandpa calmly say, “It’s OK, William, just a couple more minutes and this will end, so hang in there, boy.” At the checkout line the little terror started throwing items out of the cart onto the floor and Grandpa methodically retrieved them. Finally, Grandpa said again in a calm tone of voice, “William, William, William, please relax, buddy; don’t get upset. We’ll be home in about five minutes, so stay cool, OK, William?”
The woman was so impressed with his patience and soothing remarks she followed him into the parking lot where she engaged him while he was loading his groceries and putting the boy into the car seat. Then, she said to the elderly man, “It’s none of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don’t know how you did it. No matter how your grandson behaved you kept your composure in spite of how loud and disruptive he became. You just calmly kept saying, ‘Things will be OK.’ I was totally amazed. William is a very, very lucky youngster to have you as his grandpa.”
“Thanks,” said the grandpa. “But, I’m William. This little demon’s name is Kevin.”
There it is people, the best example I can possibly give regarding your need to exercise control over yourself. Face it, every one of you in the course of living your life has come across or will come across a Kevin, and you will have to deal with his disruptive, demanding, misbehaving, inappropriate or noxious behavior. On occasions, even your world can become a Kevin, but there is really little you can do to change that. Whether “Kevin” be your spouse, your child, your grandchild, your friend, a relative, an employer or an employee, please know you can’t control them, though there is someone you can control: That’s you. To do so, you must learn to be a calming influence on yourself. Otherwise, the reaction you might have – rightfully or wrongly – will wind up being as disruptive, non-constructive, or even destructive as those exhibited by the “Kevin” with whom you’re dealing.
To curtail that possibility, you first need to understand that knee-jerk reactions stem primarily from emotions. They are neither logical nor rational. Fortunately, however, there is a part of you that has the intellectual capacity to recognize what is right from wrong, good from bad and constructive from non-constructive. That part of you has to prevail in the majority of conflictual interactions you find yourself. It has to serve as a LUCAP, who soothes, comforts and curtails you when you feel an impulsive knee-jerk response is about to occur.
Oh, I forgot to tell you what a LUCAP is. He or she is a Loving–Understanding–Caring–Accepting–Parent. We all have one somewhere inside. He or she shows up only in select instances, i.e., those times when we are in charge of ourselves. For example, when your knee-jerk reaction is to say, “Get the hell out of here,” you instead say, “I’m busy right now. We’ll have to discuss this in-depth at a later time.”
Still another example might be when you yell at your child who spilled his second glass of milk, “That’s it. I’ve had it. You spilt it and you can’t have anymore. First, tell me, how can you be so clumsy and have no regard for the fact that I have to clean it up.” In contrast, when your neighbor’s kid who’s visiting does the same thing, you say, “Are you hurt? Did you cut yourself? Don’t cry. It’s all right. I’ll clean it up. It’s only milk and we have lots more of it. It’s not the end of the world.”
That’s your LUCAP speaking. It’s the William in you, who knows how to deal positively with the Kevins in your life. The problem is, most of you aren’t aware you have a LUCAP, i.e., someone who can help save you from your own knee-jerk reactions. So, please access the LUCAP in you and be a parent to yourself. All the while recognizing the world will continue to revolve at its own pace and in its own fashion, and that all you can control with the aid of your LUCAP is how you deal with it.