Reply To: Traffic


I don’t have any idea whether this will be a useful perspective at all. I have ADD, and I used to be bothered by little stuff. Then I got into doing some humanitarian work with POWs. It was a huge eyeopener for me. They were constantly cheerful. Always putting the best face on things. On one occasion, I lost contact for some time with a group of six of them. Finally, I heard from one of them. “We’re all fine in here, as usual! Sorry about the delay in writing you. We had a little problem with a couple of the guards, but don’t worry! We gave as good as we got! Ha!” He then went on to express concern about a work issue I’d been having last time I wrote him.

A few days later, I finally heard back from a lawyer I’d been trying to get info from, and got the full story. They had been forced at gunpoint to make an “escape attempt” after a guard cut through the fence. The purpose of course, was to create an excuse for guard to give them a beating. Two had been beaten so badly that they required resuscitation. One had been thrown from a 25 foot wall (breaking both arms) and then repeatedly kicked in the face. Since that time they had been under 24 hour lockdown, denied clothing, medical treatment for the injuries, hot water, and most of their meals. So… that was the “little problem” they’d had that was so minor that I wasn’t to worry about it. I realized at the time that if they could stay positive under those conditions, I certainly didn’t have much right to be bothered by little things like other people not behaving according to my expectations.

Also, I guess, by dealing with situations like that over a number of years I came to understand that there’s a difference between bad and inconvenient. My approach now is, if no one’s in danger of dying, it’s not worth getting wound up over. Oddly, I think my ADD helps, in that I simply don’t have the energy to get all wound up over stuff other people are doing. I barely have the energy to deal with my own crap! 🙂

I know there are no solutions in any of this. One of those things I think you have to live through to take the lesson from it and not something one person can tell another and have it “click.” But I thought it worth a mention, because sometimes just seeing things from a different perspective can be useful.