I recently heard a story about the ancient Persian Emperor, Xerxes. During his second invasion of Greece, Xerxes had his engineers build a bridge over the Hellespont. Unfortunately for all involved, a large storm came and destroyed the bridge before the army arrived. When Xerxes saw the damage, he was enraged and ordered the soldiers to punish the river. The river received 300 lashes, was branded with hot irons and had chains thrown into it. And during this beating, the soldiers were also ordered to shout curses at the river. Well, I hope that taught the river a thing or two! I read that story and laughed. How preposterous! But, do you and I ever do anything similar?
Recently, I was talking with Bret and I mentioned that the oatmeal decided to boil all over the stove resulting in a horrible mess. Bret gently suggested that it actually wasn’t the oatmeal’s fault, but mine for not watching it. Ouch! But so very true. Before you go and judge me too harshly, though, think about it. How many times have you yelled at your computer, yelled at traffic, or grumbled at the rain for ruining your hair? It is so much easier to play the victim and blame all of our problems on someone or something else – even if that thing is inanimate. Sometimes problems are our own fault and sometimes they are just life, but I don’t think punishing rivers or oatmeal is ever going to solve anything 🙂
When we relax and maintain the proper focus, it allows us to learn from our mistakes or at least reevaluate with a level head.
Let's stop playing the victim and take responsibility for our lives. Click To Tweet Just think of how much better life would be if we all did that consistently!