Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Man Who Made Everything Right

It ain’t saying this is the way to live, ‘cause it’s not, but then again I ain’t saying it’s wrong, either. I’m thinking that it’s probably just better to say that this is how he saw it; Patrick Block, that is. 

And I don’t want you coming up to me the next time we meet in the street and you tell me I’ve ruined your life. All I’m saying is, take what I’ve written here with a pinch of salt; it ain’t my fault if you take it too literally, okay?

What was Patrick’s problem? Well everything, now that you’re asking. Every little thing on this Earth gives Patrick a worry. We’ve all got worries, right? Little seeds - which in the middle of the night, suddenly become forests (I’ve never worked out why it should be that way, but it happens). Well Patrick had forests on top of forests and he was sinking fast. Money problems – check. Love problems – check. People problems – check. Legal problems – check…

..I don’t really need to go on, ‘cause I can see you’ve already got the picture. Why is it that some folks can step on to water and just walk across the top? And others only have to stand in a damp atmosphere and they start to develop foot-rot. It just don’t seem fair, now does it?

No one here is saying any of us make the rules, ‘cause we clearly don’t. It’s just that when it comes to luck, things aren’t handed out equally. I guess that’s because - if luck was handed out equally it wouldn’t be luck any more. Stands to reason, I guess.

So we’ve got this guy, Patrick, and he’s right at the back of the queue when it comes to most things – it’s probably in his DNA somewhere, that’s all you need to know.

Now there are some folks who will put up with being hit on the side of the head constantly. And there are folks who will go from day to day being shouted at. Some will go with the theory that what don’t kill, you makes you stronger, and some will even tell you crap like this, that it takes the grit in the middle of an oyster to make a pearl. Okay, so maybe they were right with that last point, let’s just forget that one.

So most folks just bump along the bottom with all that stuff being force-fed to them. But Patrick wasn’t really happy with this state of affairs. No sir – ‘cause somewhere in his little head he started to see that it wasn’t right to have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes, no sir-ee. And so he made himself a little plan.

Patrick called his idea: ‘little revolutions’. Okay, not the snappiest of titles I grant you but then that’s missing the point. It was what lay behind the idea – that’s where the real gold was.

Now you’re going to have to concentrate with me (oh come on, I don’t ask you to do this often) Patrick decided that taking on life with all the huge things it throws at you, was probably going to lead to trouble, and in the end, life would end up flattening Patrick as flat as a pancake – I think I’ve made my point.

You see, to Patrick, life was just a big sleeping dragon and every time you tried to fight back, it would waken up and burn you on the behind. So Patrick decided that maybe the best way, was to fight the beast in little moves.

For instance, on Tuesday morning Patrick spent a long time getting ready for work and as he left his house he stepped into a large pool of water. It has to be said that it ruined the last thirty minutes he’d spent on his appearance.

This is the way, Patrick thought it through:

The pool of water wasn’t his doing. It was more to do with the behaviour of water and the person who didn’t lay the stone properly outside his house. This allowed water to gather. In other words: life. So he just smiled and walked to his usual bus stop.

When Patrick got to the bus stop, he was informed by a little old man that that particular bus had left several minutes early. Now normally this would have made Patrick angry but he thought about it and decided the following:

The bus was early, and he wasn’t late. Perhaps the roads were clearer than usual, perhaps the driver was in a hurry or perhaps it was even stranger than that; perhaps gravity wasn’t so strong that day. Whatever it was, Patrick couldn’t control those kind of things and so spent a pleasant few minutes talking to the little old man.

Now Patrick hadn’t planned to talk to any little old man that morning, but considering the chances of them meeting at the bus stop were pretty remote, he’d thought he’d give it a try.

Patrick found the little old man real interesting, real interesting indeed. The man was 87 years old, his wife had ‘shuffled off’ a few years ago, and his life philosophy was ‘mustn’t grumble’. He told Patrick that if you think positively about everything, life has a way of working out. But if you think negatively, you won’t be disappointed.

By the time that Patrick got to work, he was late and this annoyed his boss who wanted to know if Patrick wanted to stay in his job. Of course Patrick did, and he could have said that the bus had been early and it really wasn’t his fault. But instead, he thought about all the pressures and the hassles his boss was under and decided that he would just apologise – it wasn’t giving in, it was just appreciating that the other person had needs too.

To Patrick, none of this was weakness. What it was - thought Patrick, was just seeing everything as it really was. If you accepted that sometimes life just liked to mess with you for the sake of it, and you just smile, shrug your shoulders and walk on down the street a bit, then you’ve made a little victory – no one needs to know – just as long as you know, what the little smile on your face is all about.

Yea, sure life is going to mess with everyone in big ways – that’s how it gets its kicks – but those times come to us all – what Patrick is talking about, is just getting from day to day and not letting it make you go down on bended knees. Think the problem through, say to yourself, is that the best you can do life? And move on. You won’t regret it.  

bobby stevenson 2015 

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