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Poetry and snark blogger who also has a creative side (who knew?)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Words of Wisdom

This is the true joy in life, 
the being used for a purpose 
recognized by yourself as a mighty one; 
the being a force of nature 
instead of a feverish, selfish little clod 
of ailments and grievances 
complaining that the world 
will not devote itself 
to making you happy. 

George Bernard Shaw

I saw this quote on Tess Kincaid's blog, Life at Willow Manor,  and thought to myself, "Yes!!!" George got this one exactly right. For those of you who may not think you're adept at deciphering quotes, the gist is this: If you want to be happy, quit complaining that you're not happy and get out there and DO something useful! 

How many people do you know who whine, whine whine about their sad, little lives? Every gripe, every grievance must be recorded and recited to anyone and everyone. Does the ranting make them feel better afterward? Does it provide some catharsis? Hell no!  They go on feeling miserable and downtrodden, accumulating ever more resentments and lamentations. Do these chronic pessimists ever attempt to do anything to change their outlook or their situation? No, they don't because they feel that Life owes them happiness. They have a sense of entitlement that is bigger than the chip they carry around on their slumping shoulders! As George puts it, they are "selfish little clods."

What these sadsacks fail to realize is that if they would just take a little time to think about someone other than themselves, it may just benefit them. "Get your head out of your pupik" is a Yiddish expression that means "Get your head out of your belly button" or "Look around you." There are many people who are worse off than most of us.  Try thinking about someone other than your pathetic self for a short time and you may find that suddenly, your mood improves. Once you find a purpose, your own complaints don't loom as large. The irony (and I hate when people use the word 'irony' wrong, but that's another rant) is that helping others helps you. 

Am I talking about you? Are you one of the "selfish little clods" of whom Mr. Shaw speaks? Answer these questions honestly:

  1. When you have a conversation, do you talk mostly about yourself? Do you talk or do you listen?
  2. When you hear about world or local events, do you immediately think, "How will this affect me?"
  3. Do you refuse or neglect to do things that are helpful to others or to the environment because they are inconvenient to you?
  4. Do you give of yourself only when you expect to get something in return?
  5. Do you make any attempt to understand people who come from different cultures or backgrounds from your own or do you think that those who differ from you are problematic?
  6. Do you feel that you are entitled to have things go well for you and that if they don't, it must be someone's fault? 
  7. Are you frequently oblivious to the effect of your actions on others? For example, do you talk on your cell phone in restaurants, blow smoke near people's faces, cut off other cars in traffic?
  8. Do you often fail to keep promises or obligations because you "forget" or because something "better" or "more important" comes up?
If you find that you've answered "yes" to several of these questions, you may want to think about whether you are, indeed, leaning toward clodhood. You may be whinier, more self-centered, and have a bigger sense of entitlement than you realize, and it may be making you an unhappy person. I KNOW it's making those around you unhappy. So, now that spring is here, do a little spring cleaning on your personality. Sweep that kvetching right out the door and start doing something useful instead of just bitching about how lousy everything is for you. As George Bernard Shaw also said, " Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."


  1. yes, no, yes, no, no, no, yes yes . . . oh crap, i'm half-jerk! :P

  2. Love it!!!!! But did you have to LQQK at me when you said this? I went to a 'clod hop' once when I was younger.

  3. Some people just like playing the eternal victim. If they have nothing to complain about, they're not happy.

    Nice post.

  4. Yes but, how will reading this post affect ME? Anyway, I've got a hangnail.

  5. I'm quite late reading this, but it was good timing. I'm really annoyed wit several "selfish clod" type people today. I wish the whole world could understand this concept and put it into practice. It would make life so much happier! :)


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