Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dole out the chill pills

I've always imagined it must be exhausting to be a perpetually angry person. Like those people who just have to be in front of the queue of cars, no matter what - they beep and flash their lights, roaring past to gain a few more feet, then slamming their brakes on as they meet the next car. And they only arrive a few minutes before you, but they're all hot and angry, cursing the road and the drivers who are happy to go with the flow. At work, angry people huff and snap, making everyone scatter as they storm through the room. If you tell them to sit down and have a break, they snarl that they haven't got time as they have to do all the things that everyone else is messing up. 

Yep, the worst of the angry people are the martyrs. They needlessly take on everyone's responsibilities, making the chilled people feel bad. You may be truly going to do a job soon, but because you're not doing it now, the Martyr has to sigh, grit her teeth (the Martyr is usually female, I've found) and do it for you. She then has to tell everyone how she had to do your job because she's the only one capable of doing it properly. The Martyr eventually reaches a point where she completely loses it, has a mad rant and storms out. All for the sake of stuff she didn't have to do in the first place. What an unpleasant and tiring way to live. 

There's a line in the film The Bucket List, when Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are discussing dying: 'You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven the gods asked them two questions. Their answers determined whether they were admitted or not.' The questions: have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others? As well as being rather nervous of the Martyrs that are around, I do feel quite sorry for them. They don't seem to have time for listening, giving reassuring hugs or smiling. Are they so busy 'getting on with things' that they don't look around and enjoy the flowers and trees and bird-song? Do angry people even realise what they're missing?

I don't have a busy and important job. I don't want one. I don't want to be in such a tearing hurry that I miss the joy that's around us every day. I don't want to be a snappy, 'indispensable' person that makes others miserable, that doesn't notice if someone's sad or in need of a smile. My measure of whether I've done my job right, is not how much I ticked off a list, but whether I made someone happy that day. Take a chill pill, people. 

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