I still wash dishes by hand. Oh, I have a dishwasher, or I should say the house has a dishwasher. It was here when we moved in. I would never buy one. And I don’t use this one. Don’t like them. Never did. I like to wash dishes and look out the window at the bird feeder and contemplate things. Here are some of the things I was thinking about tonight.
1. I don’t always agree with people, but I’ve come to understand that disagreement doesn’t make me right and the other person wrong, or vice versa. It just means we don’t agree. That’s a lesson some people never learn. They go through life always trying to be right, mostly by trying to prove someone else wrong.
2. Lincoln was right. Most people are as happy as they “make up their minds to be”. But I don’t think it’s just a matter of attitude and perspective; I think it’s also a matter of need. I honestly think some people need to be happy and others need to be miserable. They don’t know how to function any other way. They seem to thrive on the type of attention that their basic personality and behavior attracts. Perhaps that starts in childhood. I have students who seem to float through the day, no matter what happens, on a cloud of positive energy. They are happy and confident and love to see what is going to happen next. Others drag in the door complaining and whining. The happy group accepts even the most difficult work as just something we have to do in order to learn. The second group fights every step of the way against doing one more thing that makes them unhappy.
3. My favorite people don’t care how they look, they care about what they do. I’m not saying that I hang around with a bunch of slobs, or that I don’t have any attractive friends. I actually have friends who could be models. But those same friends will pick up trash on the highway, or work at the homeless shelter, or visit strangers at the nursing home. They know that real life is about getting dirty and having scars and growing old. We can’t spend all our money or waste too much energy on painted toenails or the latest fashion, nor can we obsess about that new wrinkle on our neck. If we do, God is quick to show us someone without toes or someone who has skin cancer and tell us very bluntly that our body is just a house. Keep it clean, keep it healthy and in good working order, but understand that it doesn’t have to be a mansion in order to provide shelter from the storms of life.
4. Most people don’t get nicer as they older. They don’t mellow. They just become more of what they’ve always been. It’s like they become a concentration of themselves as they get older. They tend to rid themselves of some of the actions that were “just for show” or “just to be polite” and stay with the basics of their personality. So if you’re waiting around for Joe or Jane or Harry to become a “sweet old person”, don’t hold your breath. I think if people are going to make real changes in their lives or actions, they tend to do it when they are in their thirties or forties or fifties. After that, we’re sort of set in stone!
5. Some people think it is their mission in life to make others miserable. I think they must take an oath or something: “I hereby promise to criticize, critique, disparage, belittle, and demean others at every opportunity, whether asked for advice or not”. We all know those people, but sometimes we don’t realize we know them. We recognize them as the people we “tend to avoid” or the people who “make us uncomfortable”, but for some reason we usually take the blame for the situation and feel guilty about not being the person they want us to be. Human nature being what it is, if there is a fault in a relationship we always think it is ours. We don’t understand that those people find fault with everyone because the real fault is an emptiness within themselves.
6. My favorite people are quirky. They are different. They are eccentric. They are talented. They are motivated. They are busy. They aren’t perfect, but they know it. They don’t expect me to be perfect. They forgive and forget. They get on with life. They give to others. I honestly think I have some of the best friends in the world and I treasure them.
See why I wash dishes! It gives me time to think. I’m not sure I ever solve the problems of the world while I’m ridding my plates of crumbs, but I work out a few things in my head.
Hope you have a blessed day filled with enjoyable people!