Just a Thought: I don’t like eating bologna sandwiches
It was the fifth day in a row Mack had complained and his coworker, Sam, had had enough. Together they sat on a steel beam several stories above the ground with their legs dangling off the edge. They worked hard on the construction site. A floor at a time the building was being built. But when the noon bell rang for lunchtime, they relaxed every minute they could before the 12:30 bell reminded them they had an afternoon of work ahead.
On Monday, as they pulled their sandwiches out of their sack lunches, Sam was pleased to have a ham and cheese sandwich that his wife had packed for him. Mack took one look at his sandwich and griped, “I don’t like bologna sandwiches.” Sam told him, “Don’t worry about it. It’s not that big of a deal, and besides, some people like bologna.” Mack made the best of his sandwich, but he wasn’t happy.
On Tuesday Sam pulled out a turkey sandwich. Mack reached into his bag and sure enough, there was another bologna sandwich. Sam told Mack to relax and hang in there. Eating a bologna sandwich from time to time is no big deal. Mack ate the sandwich but didn’t enjoy a single bit of it.
On Wednesday Sam had been packed a roast beef sandwich and he enjoyed it thoroughly. He appreciated the variety of food his wife was packing for him. Mack grabbed his sandwich from his bag and sure enough it was bologna again. Mack was visibly showing signs of major frustration now. Sam calmed him down and told Mack the bologna would have to run out soon. Mack was miserable, but he somehow got the whole sandwich down.
On Thursday Sam smiled when he saw he was going to enjoy a pastrami sandwich. Mack looked into his bag and sure enough, there was another bologna sandwich. He said, “That’s it!” and exclaimed, “If I get one more bologna sandwich ever again, I am going to go crazy!” Mack tried, but couldn’t even finish the sandwich. He was so sick of bologna. It took Sam quite a while longer to get Mack to not let Thursday’s choice of sandwiches keep him down in the dumps the rest of the day.
Finally it was Friday. Sam was really concerned about Mack as they sat down at their usual spot on the steel beam to eat their last lunch of the week. What a difficult week it had been for Mack. Sam was just hoping Mack did not end up with another bologna sandwich today. Four days in a row was already too many. Sam was feeling guilty because of the smorgasbord of sandwiches he had been able to enjoy.
He held his breath as Mack slowly opened his bag and peaked into it. At the bottom of his bag was his sandwich. Mack couldn’t tell what it was yet. He reached down to the bottom and pulled out the sandwich. Heavens to Betsey! It was a bologna sandwich for the fifth lunch in a row! Mack blew his top. He truly started to go crazy. That is, until Sam took the bologna sandwich from Mack, threw it the other direction and handed him his sandwich. Mack was breathing heavy and was fit to be tied.
Sam looked at him and said, “Look Mack, if you don’t like bologna sandwiches, just tell your wife and surely she will fix you something else.” Mack became quiet and looked down and shook his head. “Sam,” he said, “My wife is not the problem, I pack my lunch myself!”
Do you like bologna sandwiches? Do you pack your own lunch? What do you complain about? Do you complain about things within your control that you have the power to change?
Isn’t life that way sometimes? We get up and go into our day and do the same things hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year. We are like a scratched record. We are unhappy because of something we don’t like in our life. We do it to ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. We think that if we stay the same long enough, things around us will change and bring us happiness.
Do we like to complain? Isn’t unhappiness often a choice we make? To break it down to its simplest mathematical level, unhappiness and no change equals unhappiness. Unhappiness and change equals the chance for happiness. I ask you the question, what causes you unhappiness in your life? Is it something you can do something about? Can you make a change and make your world better? It might be as simple as changing your attitude or a difficult as ending a relationship.
But if you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting. If you like what you are getting, don’t change a thing. If you don’t like what you are getting, change something, anything. But don’t live your life complaining. Repetitive griping not only brings you down, it brings down those around you. Your attitude is contagious.
My challenge to you today is to examine what you complain about. Ask yourself, “Does complaining about it really make me feel better?” and “Does complaining about it really make those around me feel better?” If the answer to these questions is “No,” then why not do something different and make your life and this world a better place to live.
If you don’t like bologna sandwiches, then make a change and pack yourself something different. You are in control of your life. You will eat at lunch what you pack in the morning!
Just a thought...
Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.