Perhaps my Greatest Strength
Recently I have begun to realize how great a strength is that I have developed over the last decade of my life. My greatest strength is not something that I have ever really thought about, but now I am realizing that it may very well be one of the greatest strengths that I have. This is the ability to not let small things bother me. This is not to say that there are not certain things that will set me off in a moments notice (bad drivers, and moments in online video games for example). But for the most part I do not get upset over things in life. While some of my friends might see me as overly dramatic and “haasing” as they would call it, these moments are generally done in order to get a reaction and create humor. I am not really upset or bothered by something or if I am it is very surface level and I am intentionally making a mountain out of a mole hill in order to see what kind of reaction I can get out of people.
What I have realized is that when something minor comes my way, I am generally able to brush it off and move on with my life. I do not get hung up on things that bother me. I might be a bit distressed for a bit, but I have learned to grit my teeth and carry on. This skill is invaluable when having to deal with people. I actually think that it is through the last ten years at Tubby Tubes that I have developed this skill. Anyone who works anywhere near difficult tourists knows what I am talking about. I have to deal with countless people every summer who do not seem competent enough to get out of bed in the morning (read this as obnoxious drunkenness, or laziness). It is rarely just one person that is a problem on the job, it is generally a family or a group of people who push our patience to the limits on a daily basis. It is hard to not think about these people whenever I hear comments like “you really get paid to kayak around all summer? That’s awesome!” Not to say that there are not many days where it is awesome, but there are weeks where it seems like it is the worst job in the world, and this is because people make the job harder than it needs to be.
However, I have come to realize that all of these people and having to deal with them has shaped me into the person that I am now. Very few things bother me and I am able to “well it could be worse” to most nuances that come my way. Some people might say that what I have is a type of patience. I could agree to this. You could also say that I have learned very well how to “not sweat the small stuff.” Occasionally I see people who absolutely do not have this trait that I have. Their whole day becomes ruined and they are set off by what should have been something small. They cannot seem to shake the thing that upset them and as such are distracted and rude for the rest of the day. This is unfortunate because what they do not realize is how alienating they are when they are like that. I think they alienate me even more because I know that if it were me I would be acting differently. They say that patience is a virtue, and I would have to agree with that.
If all people could learn to not sweat the small insignificant things in life, we might find that we live happier lives. We also might be more aware off opportunities to brighten another person’s day. When we let little things get to us what we are really being is selfish. We are saying that the small thing that bothered us is much worse than whatever the other person is going through. Yikes. We are upset because someone spilled our $5.35 Starbucks, when someone else is upset because their child was just caught drinking alcohol at school. Granted, I would be pretty upset as my Starbucks spread across the floor, but if it were an accident I like to think that I would be quick to forgive and move on with my life. There are more important things to do and worry about and accomplish than getting down on a little misfortune.
This is a risk involved when you are living a life of not being bothered by the small things. For example, at work, I have gotten used to horrible people. Therefore, when we are met with people who cause problems I am not surprised. I naturally work harder in order to make up for it. However, I was recently accused of having my standards too low. They were right. My expectations were low, and as such that causes me to act a certain way. At times, this can cause me to treat people unfairly based on past experiences. This is an area that I need to look out for.
At any rate, I think that by having developed this skill of letting things roll off my back I am able to live a happier life. I feel as though I am at least one step closer to Philippians 4:11 where Paul talks about being content in all things. While I am not there yet, I have managed to be more or less content in situations where others were not. I recommend that everyone work on learning to let things roll of their back more, to not be bothered by things, to ignore small problems, and to not sweat the small stuff.