Thursday, November 15, 2012
Black And White? Not Everything.
So there I was, my contented, cheerful self, watching a pleasant documentary at Netflix, one called, of all things, Happy.
(There's a bigtime spoiler coming so you may want to skip this post if you plan on watching this film.)
'Happy' showed nice, feel good stuff, things that make people throughout the world, well, happy. Eventually they showed a young Japanese wife speaking about her husband who worked long hours and was often sent on business trips. He was shown speaking with his darling little girl by way of the computer and then they showed him walking tiredly through the front door when he arrived home days later. His joyful daughter ran to him and it blessed me to see each of their happy smiles.
Then we were told this young father died from karoshi, the coined Japanese word for death from overwork stress.
They then showed exhausted Japanese men in their 20's and 30's sleeping standing-up on packed subway trains on their way to work, work which never seems to end and overwork which is killing so many young Japanese men that they even have karoshi concerts, benefits, etc. to support all the young widows and their families left without husbands and fathers.
Good grief. I was practically traumatized and I shut it off. Couldn't take anymore Happy.
Why share this sad tale? Well, to say not all good-appearing things (like a high-paying job, an answer to prayer) are black-and-white terrific and to confess that sometimes I find it difficult to be thankful for Tom's job.
Hey, we're talking about a 55-year-old man who had polio, one who's had a few back surgeries and who has scoliosis, some post-polio stuff, high cholesterol (we're working on that) and--even so--still works 12-hour shifts, making it not uncommon for him to work 120 hours in a two week period. Once he even worked 144 hours.
All the extra money stopped meaning anything 10 years ago, so please don't even go there.
Frankly, it's hard for me, Mrs. Lover of Balance, to be thankful for a lack of balance, common sense and wisdom. That's the opposite of who I am and oh, I often must ask for Grace and Wisdom to help me accept the way things currently are and to not make them worse by complaining and whining to Tom. But instead, to just make Life comfortable for him at home so he can thoroughly rest the times he is here.
I used to be quite black-and-white about everything--people would shake their heads and tell me that. And ok, in a few areas I still am, areas like-- the only way to get to Heaven is through Jesus. I'm still super black-and-white about that.
But I guess this post is just a reminder for anyone else who may be a black-and-white thinker like I was/occasionally am--that no! Not everything in this life is clear-cut and easy to outline, understand, accept and give thanks for.
I, myself, appreciate such reminders, anything which will keep me from someday becoming the mean old cranky wild-haired lady down the street who's so set in her ways that nobody likes her. :)
Something else which helped me not be so doggedly there's-only-one-way-to-think-ish? Many episodes of Law and Order. Whew, it blows my mind how they can come up with court cases which shake-up even the strongest of black-and-whiters like myself.
Read more about karoshi here.
"Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[a]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." ... 1 Peter 5:8
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." ... 1 Thessalonians 5:18