Inspired by my best friend
when you get punched in the esophagus
by a fistful of life
two million people die of dehydration.
So it doesn’t matter if
the glass is half full or half empty.
There’s water in the cup.
Drink it and stop complaining.
-Rudy Francisco, Complainers
I think that far too often I see people being so negative about little things. I think one of the causes of this is a skewed expectation of how life truly is. This post is going to sounds very “anti-millennial,” especially coming from someone who calls himself a liberal, but it is what it is.
Life is hard. I don’t know a single person in my life that would disagree with that statement. I’m only 20 and I have been to more funerals for friends than I’d care to discuss. I’ve seen too much heartbreak to believe that life is anything but difficult.
Now, at the risk of sounding like a 40-year-old Trump supporter, I’m going to tell you all that life takes work. Is it good that life takes so much work? No. Do I wish that I didn’t have to work 40 hours a week so that I can go to school? Yes. Is it fair that my mom didn’t get to start going back to school until she was 41 with the last 2 of her 5 kids still in the house and working full time? Of course not. I’m not saying that I support the fact that you have to work to live, but that’s the truth of the matter.
I’m just as guilty as anybody when it comes to complaining, though. This post is just as much for me as it is for anyone who reads it. The excerpt at the top is from a poem by Rudy Francisco (my favorite poet, actually) called Complainers. In the poem, Rudy retells the stories of numerous people who have suffered tragedy and all claimed that “it could have been worse.” He’s calling people to evaluate their situations. His goal, I believe, is to push people towards less negativity towards their own life’s struggles.
I am not going to belittle your problems. I have problems that seem massive to me, but when some people look at those same problems they don’t sweat it in the slightest. The point of this is not to make you feel bad for stressing out about that girl who just won’t text you back or for not going to that party because seeing your ex-boyfriend gives you anxiety. I want you to realize that your situation may not be ideal, but that you are going to make it. It’s the old cliche, “life isn’t a fairytale.” Your expectation is that you can breeze through life with no problems, so when a minor inconvenience rises it becomes more of a stumbling block than it should be.
Move through life with the mindset that Rudy Francisco speaks about. It doesn’t matter if the glass is half-full or half-empty. There is water in the cup so drink it. When we quit feeling sorry for ourselves and begin pushing through the negativity that being in this world brings, I think we will find ourselves going farther than we thought we were capable of going.
You have breath and a heartbeat. That means you have a purpose.