(c) 2010 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
If you had “upset” a vase full of flowers, what would that look like? It might look like the vase was now on its side, or smashed on the ground, with the flowers and water all over. Would it help the vase, the flowers, or the water, to be “upset”? Maybe your cat knocked the vase over, probably without intending to. Every element would now be in disarray, none fulfilling its purpose or providing any joy. There is no benefit in the vase being “upset”.
The same is true of humans. We have a choice as to whether something will “upset” us, or turn us on our side. Would you be upset if a cat knocked over your vase of flowers? Would you be less upset if the cat were your favorite, the vase generic, and the flowers from someone you detested? What if you learned, right after the vase was smashed, that the flowers were a rare, expensive type, sent by a dear loved one who you just learned had gone into hospice this morning? Would you feel more grief over the same scene? The scene would be the same, but your interpretation would be different. You would choose a different type and level of response, based on your ideas about the same scene. What would be the most effective way to respond? Calmly and quickly?
Celebrity news is great for illustrating basics of living, at a dramatic level. This morning we read that Charlie Sheen went into a rage and trashed a hotel room 2 mornings ago. The damage, including a broken chandelier, is said by USAToday.com to have been about $7000. And why was this successful actor so upset that he was actually in a rage, tearing up his hotel room at the Plaza in New York? Police called to the scene said he was having trouble finding his wallet and cellphone after spending time with a professional purveyor of sexual pleasure. His response was to rip apart various things in the room.
Did he really think the chandelier was hiding his wallet and cellphone, thus deserving to be punched out? Famous for spending time with, um, purveyors, did he not yet have a procedure to protect himself? Does he not always leave the cash in the bedside table and tuck his wallet and phone in the lining of his suitcase, or in the room safe? He was at choice when he hired the, um, purveyor. He was at choice when he put his objects wherever in the room. He was at choice getting drunk or taking drugs. He was at choice when he realized his objects were in no obvious location. He was at choice when he went into a rage and chose to tear up hotel property. He would also have been at choice, had he quietly called hotel security to assist him, his cel company to turn off his phone, and the, um, purveyor’s provider to report the issue.
Charlie Sheen’s choices resulted in police being called and Charlie owing the hotel thousands of dollars. In addition, he is seen again as a person who has no control, or rather, a person who makes lousy choices that work for no one. And the worst effect? His ex-wife and their two daughters were staying in the same hotel. While Charlie was choosing his behaviors, was he considering what his daughters would think of him? You decide. You choose.