Billingsley’s bullets: Suffering helps us to appreciate the blessings
I ran across a quote I liked by Guy A. Zona. The quote is: “The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.” I think this quote is talking about my belief that, if we never suffer, we forget how to be grateful or thankful.
When you suffer bad health, you realize what a blessing good health is. When you lose a job, it’s very clear what employment benefits and income means. Sometimes it takes a loss to remind us of the many blessings we forget to appreciate.
Suffering and tears also teach us the Cherokee notion that we learn the most from negative experiences.
Monika’s last surgery experience reminded Monika of how much love exists in her life. Family, friends, neighbors and my tennis guys and ladies were immediately available with hugs, food, cards, phone calls, personal visits, etc. When all the relatives showed up during and after surgery, Monika created a family reunion. We all enjoyed each other after the surgery went fine, and Monika was visually and emotionally touched. Her negative health ended up creating many happy experiences for her.
• I wish there were a way to create and celebrate a “Designated Driver Day.” The designated driver remains sober, so they can be available to drive others safely home. They have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives and prevented many accidents and injuries.
To be around drunk people when you are sober is a very boring activity and can test your patience and your temper. Thank God for designated drivers! Perhaps the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors can designate and create a “Designated Driver Day,” so we can celebrate and thank these important people.
• A lot of men are often asking their wives, “Can I help?” or “What do you want me to do?” Usually, I hear the women say, “Never mind. I have it under control,” or they just ignore the help offer and continue with whatever chore they are doing.
Women don’t ask each other, “Can I help?” nearly as much as men do. Women just move right in and start helping. Guys, we can learn something here. Don’t ask, just help.
• In general, it has been my observation that women do an awful lot of work around the house compared to what men do. A working mother easily works a 14-hour day, or more, if you count her hours at work and at home. I am reminded of what Abraham Maslow said, “There is no such thing as a well-adjusted slave.”
• There is a Delaware Indian statement that offers the following notion: “Good and evil cannot dwell together in the same heart, so a good man ought not to go into evil company.” Maybe this is another way of saying what my Grandfather Billingsley told me, which is, “Tell me who you run with, and I will tell you who you are.”
Sometimes it pays off to do an inventory of who you are spending time with. Are they making your life happier? Do they add to your spiritual or emotional world? What are they teaching me? Do they always take from me and never give anything back? Drop the “takers” and the “non-teachers.” Hang out with people who are experts at offering love and compassion.
• Perhaps it’s never good for anyone to always be alone. Get outside yourself. After all, love only begins when you get outside yourself.
When you run across a situation where things may get a little dicey or complicated, I like to say to myself, “What would love do?” before I take action.
“What would compassion do?” is another good question before you take action. I ask these questions often. They create very positive results.
Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hills resident and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.