“Be selective in your battles, sometimes peace is better than being right”. – Unknown
My Mother was a first grade teacher for almost thirty years. If you do the math, considering a class size of twenty or so kids each year, she had about 600 children under her charge over her career. 600 runny noses to wipe, 1,200 hands to keep an eye on, 600 mouths to try to keep quiet, and 1,200 ears to make listen. In thirty years of dealing with kids, their parents, and grandparents she became a master psychologist a keen observer of human nature, uncovering what makes us tick and what sets us off.
She was and is a firm believer in the mantra “Pick your battles” reminding her son when it came to raising his own children or dealing with his wife that somethings just aren’t worth fighting over. The biggest roadblocks all of us must overcome when trying to “Pick our battles” is pride and ego two, at times, ugly and damning emotions.
As I have gotten older both my physical and mental flexibility has become a little more rigid. Exercise will help the physical part, moving my big ass off the sofa more often than just during the commercial breaks in a football game. But the mental part can be more challenging. As we get older our spheres of influence begin to narrow. We become surrounded by the same people, with the same thoughts and patterns as we have. It is a natural progression and honestly it has more to do with comfort than anything else.
My own social circle has shrunk dramatically over the last ten years or so. I am much more comfortable being around fewer people who see the world as I do rather than with a wider more diversified group who may take acceptation to my view of things. I have grown tired of defending myself, “picking my battles” with peers whose stance on politics, religion, hell creamy or crunchy peanut butter is the polar opposite of mine. But I realize, watching and listening to some of the older people in my life, this narrow, unbendable path isn’t a good route to venture down.
I turn 56 in two days, 20,440 days of seeing the world through my eyes. In those 56 years I have formed an opinion or twelve about how I think things should be. But when I reflect back on all of my preconceived notions about the world I have a difficult time finding that one item, that one thought that warrants a battle to the death to defend. Maybe that’s a good thing or maybe it is a bad thing. Some might say I should have beliefs that I am passionate about, passionate enough to argue until I am blue in the face. But what good would that do? What would it change, or who would it change?
I feel strongly about what I have written on this blog over the last ten months and 375 post later. I will argue over some of the topics but only to a point, some battles aren’t worth fighting, some minds just can’t be bent, including my own. But I have really enjoyed the interaction with some of you. Your thoughts and comments have helped to expand an old mans world, a world that, simply through the process of attrition, has narrowed some which we should all work to avoid. Oh, by the way, I choose creamy peanut butter. Want to fight about it?