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Inspiration: Facing Our Window On Life…

21/06/2011
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Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspiration: Facing Our Window On Life... what do you hope to see?

Every day, in some small or large way, we look out our window, be it symbolic or real, and imagine worlds we created in our minds; worlds or dreams where we are accomplished and carefree… with nary a worry or resentful bone in our lives. Then, for a moment, a wicked thought comes to mind and we want to crush it, to banish it, but it’s too strong because that angry memory is too strong. We avert our eyes and say a prayer. We are afraid that if we forgive so readily, we might get hurt again. So we hold unto old wounds and send imaginary poison arrow to the “enemy.” Staying angry and resentful over situations cost us more; emotionally, physically and mentally. The story below, The Window, is a cautionary tale on the tragedy that can occur when we let our petty hatreds get the best of us… Let them go; move on!

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge. The #Trust30 Prompt: If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions: What are the costs of inaction? What kind of person do I want to be? In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?

When faced with difficult decisions that involve people, places and things that offend us, we need to resolve it or walk away from it… One we’ve determined the merits of the event, We must act and soon. Instead of getting mad, sad and even, we can use the #Trust30 questions above to help us gain perspective. It is imperative to ask ourselves, What kind of person do I want to be?

The story below (told in two parts), offers a great lesson on the damaging impact of resentment and the consequences of our actions. If we could look out our window daily, determined to find something good and uplifting, we would find it… Facing our window on life with a positive attitude will make all the difference… maintain your perspective. Read the story below… What are your thoughts?

The Window By Author Unknown

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything? It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window – and that thought now controlled his life…

More … Contd Below. 😉

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere” François de la Rochefoucauld

Inspiration: Facing Our Window On Life... what do you wish on your neighbor?

The Window By Author Unknown  Contd…

Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence–deathly silence.

The following morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away–no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

What is the lesson? Sure, there are times when we envy people or they make us mad and we wish them evil, but our sense of justice and compassion kicks in and we, unlike the man who let his roommate die, do the morally correct thing. We call the nurse and deflect the hurt through exercise, prayer or other activity. Hopefully, we will never have to resort to such reprehensible behavior, instead, we will ask ourself the three questions, and do the right thing. What are your thoughts? What would you do? How do you handle anger and resentment? What do you do to help overcome difficult temptations and situations? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by two prompts from WP Daily Post: When you get mad, what calms you down? and RalphWaldoEmerson.me: If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions: What are the costs of inaction? What kind of person do I want to be? In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?

Positive Motivation Tip: Our window on life/the world is colored by our emotions and experiences. Be careful what you focus on for there are consequences for our actions…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of Teahouse window and casement window via Wikipedia. Story is courtesy of Dizzyboy.com

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

18 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/06/2011 11:10 pm

    Thanks, E!

    I’ve loved this story (and the last about the butterfly) ever since I first heard them.
    Valuable lessons in parables! 😉

    I rarely am jealous or envious of others . . . because I would not want to step out of my flip flops to step into their shoes.

    Who I am is who I want to be . . .

  2. 21/06/2011 11:49 pm

    The lesson about the butterfly is one of my favorites. I like to put myself in the shoes of the other person to keep harmony.

  3. Bree permalink
    22/06/2011 12:29 am

    Talk about the tragedy of imagining the grass is greener on the other side!
    The lesson is a powerful one and a reminder to live in concord with others and in accord with our lot in life.
    B

  4. 22/06/2011 12:31 am

    i first heard this story several years ago with the punchline that the man who died had been blind. Same parable. Be careful of what you wish for it may not be what you want and at what price did you achieve it

  5. 22/06/2011 2:46 am

    What a terrible result. Quite a lesson in that story.

  6. 22/06/2011 3:41 am

    I often like to sing the lyrics of an old gospel:
    +
    I was standing by the bedside of a neighbor
    who was just about to cross that swelling tide
    and I asked him
    if he would do me a favor
    kindly take a message to the other side …
    +

  7. 22/06/2011 3:43 am

    look at Dixie Hummingbirds “Standing By The Bedside of A Neighbor” on youtube

  8. 22/06/2011 6:52 am

    Very good post ! I enjoyed the the “Window” -the story was full of meaning and light. When I am having a bad day dealing with anger or resentment, I walk away. My best solution for handling these times, is to first of all pray about it. I usually like to get alone, for self reflecting my thoughts, this usually calms me down and puts me in a better place.

  9. 22/06/2011 6:54 am

    Hi Eliz

    Your post has good timing. My question is “what does one do when the anger and resentment is directed at you”?

    I had one of my ‘thinking outside the square’ ideas. The boss thought it was great. Co-workers chucked a dummy spit. Boss was astounded by the venom, but was forced to back down. Once again, I’m left dumbfounded because the community is the poorer for my co-workers’ egotistic intentions and I’m left isolated.

    I can only be consoled that all good ideas have their time and place, and it will happen in time.

  10. 22/06/2011 9:16 am

    Great post.
    Windows are useful to connect outer things and inner things which includes light, air, water and people.

  11. 22/06/2011 9:48 am

    Wonderful story. Resentment is a disease, best not to ever let it get a foothold.

  12. 22/06/2011 10:11 am

    That window story was so depressing! Who would keep angry, resentful feelings long enough to make them that miserable. I say “get over it” because the way you are now is what you have now.

  13. 22/06/2011 11:08 am

    I had heard the window story before but forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me. I’m struggling with some family dynamics regarding forgiveness and doing the right thing so this resonates.
    Thanks!

  14. 22/06/2011 6:44 pm

    What a wonderful man to create such beauty outside the window, for himself and the other man to share. When I am feeling jealous or resentful I try to remember that there are difficult aspects to everyone’s life and that just because I can’t seem them (from the outside) doesn’t mean they aren’t there!

  15. 23/06/2011 10:20 am

    I have never heard this story before but I knew where it was going. The focus on the guy who was “kind” enough to create this photo imagery- hmmm. What if he had been honest and said – hey – it’s a blank wall. He must’ve known that he held the good spot – he may have created that resentment… With honesty, he may have lived.

    I know that was not the point of the story but I couldn’t help but bring that up. If one dangles something another does not have in front of the other – that taunts resentment and envy. When feelings of resentment and envy come on – you have to count your own blessings and let it go. Deep breaths and finding peace is best. 🙂

  16. 23/06/2011 5:07 pm

    I had heard this story before but it was good to hear it again!
    I believe the moral of this lesson is to not waste time wanting what you don’t have or THINK you don’t have but live your life the way it is and be happy with it. 🙂

  17. 24/06/2011 3:30 am

    The window had me thinking about a story I heard a while ago about a prisoner who, for years, watched a woman’s legs as she passed his little vantage point on the world. From the portion of her legs that he could see, he created his own story about who she was, what her life was like.
    I couldn’t live without a window.

    I can’t relate to that man in the story — I couldn’t be that heartless. Wow!
    Marcia

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