What is one thing a therapist told you that changed your view on life?
“Hmm. Not your problem, is it?” mused my unseen analyst from behind my head as I was lying supine on her couch while allowing my unconscious thoughts to run amok. I extended her musing with the part of the serenity prayer that asks for the wisdom to know the difference between what I can and cannot control.
Turns out that I can control my thoughts and actions, but not those of others no matter how hard I try. A few examples: I emailed the manuscript of my book, The Power of Being Articulate, to a small but respected publisher. He called, unheard of in publishing: “Love your book, but I can’t publish it. It is too intelligent for my readers.” I was shocked and appalled and shot back: “You agree that this is a book worth publishing. Have you considered upping the standards of your readership to include more intelligent folks?” He hung up, and I created my own publishing company to control my output.
A friend was drinking and smoking himself to an early and painful death when he asked me to stop at a booze store on the drive to his home, explaining that he had run out. I refused, explaining to him that I did not want to hasten his death. He, surprisingly, said OK, he would ask his housekeeper to deliver a quart or two. He had a plan B, and died a few months later. I do not feel the slightest tinge of guilt.
On a broader scale: I detest the news media for its many biases and disdain for any pretense of objectivity, which I think of as blatant lying. Topping the long list is “All the news that’s fit to print.” Who decides? Not me. No human can possibly know even a small percentage of the facts related to even the simplest event. So I stopped tuning into news programs more than twenty years ago. Instead, I get a brief idea of what’s happening in the world and my neighborhood by glancing at the headlines that some unknown organization puts on my computer every morning. I sleep better.
If you are curious about bias in the news, please read Big Shots’ Bull*!@#. The title of Chapter 13 is: THE NEWS: Putting Lipstick on a Pig.