June 05, 2008

No Damage

My sons have a saying, one that applies to a number of situations. A typical situation will involve me sitting in the living room, when a very loud crash comes out of their bedroom--a sound like the roof has caved in. I'd be about to rush in to see what happened, or to yell, "What's going on," but before I can do either of those things, a voice will call out from the bedroom:

"No damage!"

They think this is hilarious. I think they saw it once in some movie or TV show. Perhaps a small bug was stepped on by a giant, flattened like a pancake, but still calls out, "No damage!" Something like that.

The reason I bring this up is that, often, my saying is just the opposite. "Yes, damage!" I don't exactly say it in words, but I often react to things that happen as if they are worse than they really are. Too often, I expect perfection, from myself and others, and when perfection is not what I see, I get upset. "Yes, damage!"

Some Buddhist writings I've read lately have encouraged me to not overreact to things. In most situations, the worst that can happen is usually not as bad as the worst that I am imagining. These Buddhist writings have also taught me that, when someone disappoints or upsets me, I should simply refer to them as F.H.B.s--fallible human beings. Doing so reminds me that I am also a F.H.B., and really, that's OK.

Hopefully, I will also learn to say, "No damage!"

1 comment:

Adam Gonnerman said...

It's easy to get irked about things that happen, and then blow them out of proportion. Worse perhaps is when someone else overreacts to something we say or do, and we let it continue to bother us that we were misunderstood. That seems to happen to me from time to time, but fortunately not too often.