Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eeyore ~ Adorable? Yes. Role Model? No.

Why isn't anybody doing something?

I thought about this as I sat and listened to a smart, compassionate group of people debate the options out there for helping a child who is being emotionally and physically abused.  Once you get past the emotions of it, there are a lot of tangible things you can do to get help.  The only problem is which is the right one, or which one do you try first?  The life and death nature of the situation combined with the fear of making the wrong choice in trying to help...well, it can all lead you to take no action.  Not because you are bad or lazy...but because you are afraid.  Fear is a powerful motivator. 

I use to tell people that I was more afraid of being afraid than whatever it was that I was afraid of.  Most of the time that is still true, but we all have those situations in our life that freeze us in our tracks.  Unable to move backward and too scared to move forward, we sit and wait.  Too often we talk it to death ~ with others and even inside our own heads ~ until we nearly go crazy or the situation resolves itself another way.  That last sentence caused me to cringe as I typed because my life has been full of situations where the do nothings won out and years later grown adults were standing around looking at each other going, "What??!!" when the subject of why something happened got brought up.  I call it being an Eeyore.  I have known a lot of Eeyores in my life; one thing that absolutely does NOT make me glad.  :(

This made me start thinking about inaction.  What is it?  What causes it? 

Imagine my surprise when I googled "inaction quotes" and was led to not only great quotes, but quotes that made me take a momentary pause.  Note, I utilize google multiple times a day, every day of my life, and yes, I am still surprised when I find whatever it is that I am looking for (or not looking for as the case might be).  I have included a few of my favorites below.

"Action cures fear, inaction creates terror." ~ Douglas Horton

"Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

"Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction." ~ Will Rogers

"I never worry about action, but only inaction." ~ Winston Churchill

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." ~ Dale Carnegie
 
"Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind." ~ Leonardo da Vinci

I have seen a lot of inaction in my time, but I am not sure that I have ever thought of it as being the biggest form of action.  That really does make perfect sense though, and as I have experienced in my own life, if you do nothing, it doesn't change the fact that time still continues to pass.  Children age; we all age.  Life goes on.  At some point the unprotected, uneducated, abused children of this world become adults.  What have they then become?  I don't want to digress too much here (and I am sorely tempted to do just that), but I believe the bigger question (at least today) is what are each of us facing in our lives that we are NOT taking action on?


Now I am a huge planner by nature, and I believe that planning is the key to success in most every situation.  You cannot though get so caught up in your "planning" for action that you do nothing which clearly results in nothing getting done.  To make matters worse, if you are surrounded by people looking to you for wisdom and guidance, your inaction and the resulting noise created by ideas running amok without guidance creates what I would term unorganized chaos.  I truly believe that inaction breeds chaos which in turns breeds contempt and distrust. 

This logic though, can apply itself to any form of inaction in your life.  What are you in denial about...somehow hoping it simply takes care of itself?  I can think of three situations in my own life, so I am betting you can think of at least one.  If there is anything in your life making you feel like this poor man, stuck in a box, that is a clear sign you need to take some action.



Did you know that it takes 43 facial muscles to make a frown?  It only takes three to grin.  Now if you want to go all out with a full facial smile, it takes 15 muscles.  I bring this up because it takes a lot of effort to be unhappy.  A LOT of effort, and no, I am not just talking about the frown associated with being unhappy.  Fear and unhappiness can control your life, if you let them.  One of my favorite lines in Pollyanna is...."When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will."  I wholeheartedly believe that this can be applied that if you look for the fear and unhappiness, or if you choose to dwell on those things, that is all you will see.  The result, you will start drowning in them.

There are certainly plenty of things in this world that we cannot control.  God through his word teaches us that we are not to dwell on those things, but to "think upon things that are lovely".  God doesn't want us to focus on the bad or things we cannot control, he wants us to focus on the good.  I loved this quote above by Terry Prince, and it begs the question...ARE you watering the weeds?  What are you dwelling on today?  What are you not taking action on today that you need to be?
Make a list.  Get a plan.  Take the first step...then the second...then on and on.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Trust me on this...on many levels, you will be SO glad you did. 
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

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