The Absurdities

The Absurdities

Inspired by the absurd thinking of people of today, always whining about things around them, yet unable to face the simple improvements in themselves. 

David was preparing for a job interview. He had already showered, put on an expensive shirt, and was in the process of styling his fashionable hair in front of a mirror when he noticed a really large booger hanging from his nose. He took a towel beside him and wiped the mirror. The booger was still there. “What the f—?” He whispered.” And he tried wiping away again, only to find the booger still hanging from his nose.
He called to his roommates, “Look at this f—ing mirror! It keeps making me look ugly.”

One roommate, Michael walked in, looked at him, saw the booger, but not wanting to offend his friend, looked at the mirror and said, “That’s a terrible mirror dude. We both know you’re better looking than that. Don’t let this mirror define you. They’re always trying to show our worst. You’re an awesome guy. You look great.”

Another roommate, Antonio, walked in and started laughing, “Dude, you have a really big booger hanging from your nose!”

David, offended at being laughed at, answered “No I don’t! You’re always so mean! Always pointing out what’s wrong about people. You never encourage. You think you’re better than everyone else! I know I look great. It doesn’t matter what you say. I know with all my heart that I look great. Even Michael said I do. I hate judgemental people like you! You always notice the bad stuff. You didn’t compliment my shirt, or my hair, and you just laughed at me. ”

Antonio was surprised at the reaction of David, given that there really was a booger hanging, and wiping it wouldn’t have been any big deal, but not wanting to cause any further offense, offered, “Sorry dude. Didn’t know it would offend you so much. Here let me wipe it for you.” And took a tissue to remove it.

“Don’t touch me! What are you doing?” David snapped.

“I was going to remove the booger.” Antonio answered.

“There is no booger. Now you’re going to insist on fixing me? It’s not your job to fix me. You’re always trying to fix everyone when it’s  your face that needs fixing. Everyone knows I’m special.”

“Look in the mirror, David!” Antonio told him, “Look in the mirror yourself!”

“Don’t be so harsh, Antonio”, Michael said. “Can’t you see how much effort David has put into getting dressed. Besides, he’s about to go to a job interview. Let’s offer him support not discouragement. He doesn’t meet any negativity.”

Antonio was dumbfounded. “Just look in the mirror. You’ll know what I’m talking about.”

“I have looked in the mirror. I look great. It’s the mirror that’s wrong. It’s a judgemental mirror. It didn’t take into account my clothes, my hair, the time and effort I already spent. It wants to show me the one bad thing about me. And that’s unfair! Why should I change for this stupid mirror??” David shot back.

Michael turned to David, “Don’t let these mirrors get to you. They don’t see inside you. They don’t know the real you. Trust in your heart and know you’re good. You’ll kill this interview. They’re going to hire you on the spot. Remember Sarah from last night? She said you were hot right?”

David smiled, remembering his amazing first date the night before. “Thanks Michael. You’re always an encouragement. Every time I’m down you’re the one who helps me up. You always make me feel like a better person. I think it’s because you have such a pure and kind heart. Unlike this other guy…” David snarled looking at Antonio

“Guys, it’s just a booger. And the mirror is already showing you. Just wipe it off and go.”

“No more negativity and criticism Antonio.” Michael butt in. “The world is already full of discouragement. What our friend needs is our support.”

“And a Kleenex…” Antonio said.

“Here you go again mocking people. You’re so arrogant!” David said.

“Ok, ok… I’ll just leave.” Antonio said, still at a loss on why David wouldn’t just wipe his nose.

“Don’t mind Antonio” Michael told David. “He means well. He can just be harsh. But you know you’re a good person right?”

“Yes” David replied.

“Then go show the world how good you are!” Michael encouraged him.

David smiled. He felt renewed by his friends encouragement. He really liked Michael. Michael was awesome. Michael always made him feel important.

He thanked Michael and left for his interview.

Hours later, Michael heard the door open and saw David walk in. “How’d the interview go?” He asked.

“The world is so unfair.” David started. “It’s a cruel world out there. So unfair. They didn’t even give me chance.” He was so angry as he said this. “I walked into the reception on time and asked for my appointment. The receptionist giggled and said, ‘You might want to wipe your nose first sir.’ I got a little mad. After Antonio this morning, I didn’t have a lot of patience for yet another judgemental person. So I told her, ‘I’m not commenting on how fat you are. You have no right to comment on how I look! Now please give me the room of my appointment!’ She got shocked but looked at her computer and pointed me to Room 1005. I walked towards a room and sat on one of the chairs outside to wait my turn. Then the man beside me said ‘Excuse me sir. You have a booger hanging from your nose.’ This time I kept my cool and just ignored him. I thought to myself ‘What the f— does this guy know about me? He doesn’t know me at all. Arrogant bastard. So judgemental’ and I just waited my turn.

Finally, my name was called and I walked in, shook the hand  of my interviewer and was about to sit down when he started laughing. ‘You might want to wipe your nose first’ he said.

This time I had had it. I wasn’t going to stand for this anymore. Someone needed to teach these judgmental people a lesson. ‘F— you.’ I told him ‘F— all you judgemental people. You think that just because you’re older or have been working longer you can talk to people like that? You think you’re better than me? Well you’re not. F— You. You think that you know me? You don’t. You know nothing about me. You’re a f—ing loser, working in this dead end job, and that’s why you’re so harsh and mean and judgemental. Don’t compare me to you. I’m out of here.’

And with that I stormed off.”

“That’s really terrible.” Michael empathized with him. “The world can be harsh but you just need to be brave. I admire you for your strength and courage. You fought against judgmental propels and narrow minds.”

“I need a job though.” David said, with a little practicality seeping in. “How am I going to find a perfect job in such a terrible world where everyone is so horrible?”

“Just be patient. You’ll find the perfect place. Good things happen to people who are pure. You’re a good man. God will see your heart and bless you.”

“Thanks Michael. But what if no one accepts me? What if they all try to mold me to be like them?”

“Well, f— em!” Michael proclaimed. As if he didn’t just invoke God’s blessing a sentence ago.

“Yeah!” David felt empowered once more “F— em!”

The Roadblocks Inside Us

The Roadblocks Inside Us

The Roadblocks Within Ourselves
There are terrible days. You know what I mean. These are the times when nothing seems to be working, where all the best-laid plans unravel, and where our efforts don’t seem to be producing anything worthwhile. I feel this way sometimes with my art, drawing draft after draft, but still staring at an empty canvas. Or with my writing, I probably have 2 or 3 unfinished articles for every posted one. My life is full of false starts. It’s frustrating.

But it isn’t fatal. In fact, it’s part of the eventual victory. All those hidden efforts, never-to-be-seen drafts, and unknown perseverance is what leads to breakthrough. 

 

Many times we like to blame someone else or some external circumstance for our predicaments. I’ve found that not only is this counterproductive, it’s also not accurate.

My financial problems were not because my parents didn’t give me capital to start-off with. Pretty much all my financially tight periods were caused by overspending, taking-on too much risk, and even over-giving, giving away cash I didn’t have yet to great causes, which is still not financially wise.

My health problems are many times because of my diet, my sleep habits, my drinking habits, my overdoing things, NOT because of expensive health care, or having a lot to do at work, or because of stress, which are the common scapegoats for people.

When there are business issues, while I would like to blame staff or circumstances, I’m always reminded that I was the one who allowed that staff member to be in the position. I was the one who didn’t push for better preparation or thought of a more effective strategy.

When my wife and I fight, I quickly default to blaming her in my head, but always, without fail, a lot of pride within me who is most at fault.

When things don’t happen the way I want, I find that sometimes I question God, saying, “Why? Why me? Why not some other more evil guy?” Then I remember that there are many things in my own heart that prove that I am that evil guy. And that I’m actually currently getting more than I deserve.

This may be true for you as well.

This is why we need to constantly be moving forward. Constantly moving forward means daily moving forward, even if it’s in small ways. 

“But I’ve been striving for years already!” I get that a lot, especially from myself, when I’m complaining about how long things are taking. But then I remind myself of a something Stephen Covey said in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Private victories precede public victories.” So I pause and check inside, asking, “How am I doing in my private victories?” And I usually find that the real reason why I haven’t been able to progress is because of a roadblock within myself.

Moving Forward
This Thursday, I’ll be speaking at Bo Sanchez’s Kerygma Conference to speak on Bravely Moving Forward in Business. I’ve altered my presentation last minute to focus more on something more valuable than just making more money or achieving growth. I want to talk about the 3 important foundations we all need to build, which are 3 private victories we need to win constantly, in order to progress bravely through life. But more than that, I want to talk about WHY we need to win these victories, why we need to lay these foundations, and why we need to constantly be progressing.

I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on this topic. Please pray for a successful event.