Do you spend your time on big things?

If we spend our lives focusing on the unimportant things, we won’t have time for the things that matter.  I have given a lot of thought to problems, frustrations and what constitutes a “big thing” or a “little thing” lately and come away with a few observations.

I am struck by just how many people get bent out of shape over truly insignificant things.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting I am the arbiter of what is important and what is useless.  There are a few things however, that I think most would agree on.

Traffic is probably the one that piques my curiosity the most when I see someone outraged while driving.  It is the one we all deal with and it is one that arises most days.  While I don’t find sitting in traffic enjoyable, I do not seem to get as bent about it as a lot of folks.  Why is that?

Is it because I have an easier life than those popping blood vessels on the side of their head when someone cuts them off??  Not at all.  Is it because my time is less valuable than the folks shouting obscenities at no one in particular when a slow down turns into a standstill?  Nope.

I grew up in a family of traffic screamers (except for my mom) and certainly have the training (and vocabulary) to have become a world-class irate driver… but I didn’t.  I often sit bemused or watch quizzically at the folderol* when someone starts getting vocal about drivers in other vehicles (that can neither hear nor see what frustration they seem to have caused.)

One of my favorite sayings that seems to apply is:

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Buddha

It doesn’t affect them at all and can go on to screw up your entire day.

I have paid a lot of attention to what gets people riled up… what things get them flustered… what tends to derail them from just enjoying life.  I have noticed that more often than not, it is something quite trivial.

I’m no great philosopher  (although I fancy myself a decent amateur) but I really do enjoy watching, analyzing and learning from and about my fellow man.  What surprising hot buttons do you have?  Not the standard things like someone lying to you, cheating you etc.  What are the ones that other people tell you to “take a chill pill” when you go off.  (For some of you, it will be when someone tell you to relax or take that chill pill.)

by Chris Doelle

  • fol·de·rol
ˈfäldəˌräl,ˈfôldəˌrôl/
noun
  1. trivial or nonsensical fuss.
    “all the folderol of the athletic contests and the cheerleaders”
    • dated
      a showy but useless item.
      plural noun: folderols; plural noun: falderals

My mom taught me that word the other day when she was at the hospital experiencing pokes, prods, vitals recording, and all manner of questioning.  She thought it all unnecessary and said, “This is certainly a bunch of folderol just for me.”  I absolutely love it.

 


Also published on Medium.