You get to choose the way you respond to life. In all its mundaneness and glory, you get to choose. This commencement speech to graduates by author David Foster Wallace says it all.
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a book on personal growth and self accountability that touched my life once upon a time, also spoke of the importance of recognising that each one of us can choose to see the world as though the world evolves around us. Or we can choose to see the world with an understanding that every living person in it is having an experience, which we are not likely to be privy to.
We can choose to judge others, bemoan others and complain that others are to blame for our experiences; ie. we can take a cynical view of the world and of others who share it with us and convince ourselves that others are selfish and out to do what they do at our expense. We can justify our own negativity, lashing out, criticisms, inability to show kindness, you name it. Or we can choose to practice acceptance, and let that be the foundation of resilience. We can choose to practice empathy, without all the details and without knowing the full experience of others. We can simply choose to learn patience and let that sink in as a quality worth having.
I love this. It is a good reminder of how to live in the world.