I recently got into a snit over something on someone’s blog. I won’t bother to go into details over what it was and why. In fact, I got into several snits over things on the Internet this morning. Finally, I just gave up, took my dogs outside, and tried to enjoy the early fall weather while seeing if I could walk off my backache and my load of snits (which may have been partially responsible for the backache).
After seeing to my roses, I took my dogs out to the large yard on the northern end of my mother-in-law’s property. It’s spacious, with just a few trees, and it borders our neighbor, who keeps geese and a couple of dogs of their own. My two dogs bolted like bullets from a gun, stretching their bodies out in full runs as they reveled in the open space. The sky above was a gorgeous deep blue and, though the sun was bright, the cool air felt like silk on my skin. It was very easy to forget about the trivialities I was gnashing my teeth at earlier.
Our culture seems to revel in making everything feel urgent and important. Things that, in the grand scheme, don’t have the greatest of importance suddenly become about life and death. The topics range from celebrity gossip to television shows to what brands of food to buy in the grocery store. Everything is a source of concern.
Personally, I have always felt the need to be right. I suppose this comes from being one of the brightest students in my tiny rural school. If I can’t be right about something, then there is a sense of failure. Pile on top of that the sense of urgency and immediacy that permeates our culture and the end result is anxiety and “snits over nothing”.
As I watched my dogs playing in the yard, and I milled around looking at nature, it occurred to me that, despite what I read online, the sun was still shining and the season was continuing on. My dogs were happy to merely exist. It didn’t matter what so-and-so said about a topic that wasn’t really that important. What was wounded was my pride. I felt threatened, that I could possibly be wrong about something, and so it was vital to correct these people, not bothering to stop and ask myself if the issue really mattered in the grand scheme. Just like my culture has trained me, there was an urgency and immediacy to the issue, so much so that I didn’t stop to think.
Am I saying that we should never defend ourselves and our beliefs? No, of course not. I guess what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t get so caught up in our love of triviality that we lose sight of what is truly important. That we get so bogged down in ourselves and what we think that we miss the outer world that is so very beautiful and full of wonderful things.
Having a right priority, part of which should consist in stopping and thinking before speaking, I suppose is what I’m getting at. Don’t let negativity rule your life. Instead, focus on the important things: life, love, and the feel of the sun on your skin, to name a few. Otherwise, you find yourself in a foul mood over typed words that, in the end, don’t really matter.