Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column longing for a “big-picture” perspective in a world obsessed with itty-bitty issues.
It’s like when we have something in our eye. All we can think about is getting it out. We blink and blink; our eye waters. We could be in the middle of something as dramatic as taking shelter from a hurricane, being fired from our job, or hearing our spouse ask for a divorce, but ” at that moment ” nothing else matters except the errant particle irritating our eye ball.
All too often, we think, we find ourselves reacting to situations even less significant than dust specks with equal intensity. We order a delivery pizza, for example, and it arrives ice cold an hour later. We’re outraged and we can’t think about anything else except what a rip-off the place is.
Or our neighbors can’t be bothered to pick up after their dogs and we run across alien piles in our yard.
“This is completely unacceptable!” we shout at anyone who’ll listen. Again, we brood over the outrage.
Sometimes, we can even generate nagging outrage inside our own heads, without any outside stimulus at all. We can remember something unpleasant someone said to us back in 1996, for instance, and gnaw on it for several minutes before we remember it’s now 2008.
In the larger scheme of things, what do any of these “outrages” really matter? Just like the dust speck, they come and they go ” with almost mind-numbing regularity.
As much as we yearn for a larger perspective, however, we have to admit to ourselves the unlikelihood of ever freeing our minds completely from the habit of focusing on the insignificant.
Maybe the best thing we can do when confronted by the pettiness of our day-to-day thoughts is to laugh. After all, it is pretty funny now to think about how upset we got when they first rerouted the bike path near Frisco to build the new hospital or when City Market stopped carrying low-sodium soy sauce in 16-ounce bottles.
We think a friend of ours gave us the best advice when he told us to remember one thing:
“Our minds are for entertainment purposes only.”
It’s Friday folks, and we’re out, being endlessly entertained.
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