Okay so it’s almost New Year’s resolution time. I’m committed next year to becoming more patient and I suppose that process begins with developing more compassion. Hardly a week goes by without my receiving correspondence from someone who really feels sorry for themselves and I think this might be a good place to begin.
Why? Because letters like those that I’m receiving generally do not evoke sympathy or compassion from me; they have just the opposite effect, and my impatience manifests itself usually in a lecture to them (often in a not so kind and gentle way). No one wants a lecture when all they desire is sympathy and it’s hurtful to them.
I lack patience in part because I’ve seen real suffering in this world first-hand. I’ve visited third world countries where I’ve seen people, (often children), literally starving to death and entire families that live on one penny a day. They are susceptible to diseases like leprosy, malaria, and cholera, and have no access to doctors or medicine. They don’t have phones, cars, air conditioning, televisions, laptops, electricity, running water, sanitation, wardrobes, bicycles, food on the table, or even a home to live in.
It’s heart breaking.
I see it to a lesser degree right here at home in the many homeless shelters and rehab centers that I visit each year. I lived on those mean streets and often ate in missions and slept under bridges on the side of the road in the freezing cold, many times wondering if someone would kill me before daylight.
Most of the people who write to me about their problems are living in splendor, (comparatively speaking). Sure they have problems; everyone does! I suppose I’m impatient with them because they refuse to look around and see the silver lining in the clouds above.
I’m not alone, famed motivational speaker Zig Ziglar referred to these people as PLOMS, (The Poor Little Old Me bunch). They crave sympathy with every ounce of their strength and he says they even cry at their own pity party. Yikes!
In the spirit of accomplishing my New Year’s resolution, (helping mankind, and becoming kinder, and gentler and all), I have spent some time analyzing this problem and I think I have identified the root cause of why people crave sympathy. As you know identifying the problem is usually the first step towards resolving it, and in this case I’m confident that my discovery will pave the way for a revolutionary new treatment. In fact I’m thinking of sending my findings to the Journal of the American Medical Association to see if I can get a review of my theories in JAMA. I have coined this malady, The C Syndrome.
I named it the “C’ Syndrome after my dog Cooper because he provided the inspiration for my findings. I have noticed that he loves to whine especially very early in the morning (when I’m trying to concentrate on writing WFTD). After much consideration I have come to understand that he whines because he wants something. (Stunningly brilliant!)
I have discovered that if I give him one of his bacon treats that the whining immediately stops. I have tested this for some time now and I’ve had 100% success with it. Whether or not it will work on human whiners or not, I cannot say for sure; however one would think that if it works on animals like “Coopie” it should work on humans too. At any rate the guys at JAMA should be capable of taking my idea and running with it.
Hmmm… I don’t think my New Year’s resolution effort is working out very well in developing my kinder and gentler social skills, but fortunately for me it is still December and I have not yet begun to mar 2012 with my impatience and non-compassionate cynical attitude.
If I could sing and carry a tune maybe I would record the following verses on a CD and send it to those who seek sympathy:
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings and see what God has done.
Unfortunately my cynical attitude might be more warmly received than my voice. Our blessing count should begin with recognizing that we have Jesus Christ as our Savior and fulltime advocate.
He loves us with a love that is so intense that according to the Bible it is incomprehensible, and mere words are not adequate to make us understand the depth of His love.
Instead of eating a bacon treat, (disgusting); I suggest we offer a prayer to Jesus and oddly that we offer our THANKSGIVING for His many blessings in our lives as the answer to our sympathy addiction problems.
There can be no room for PLOM’s when we think of the love of Jesus Christ. He will provide the peace we crave, provided we have enough faith and the wherewithal to look beyond our own temporary problems. Trust in Him for He is patient and kind and His load is light and His burden easy. He can remove all of our burdens and we can rest in His peace. Selah…
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ