Learning To Cope

04 December 2020

Everything on this Earth, whether they be earth, stone, plant or animal, is part of our existence. I have already said in an earlier post that the one constant in this lovely Universe is things change. Sadly, many species have died out for one reason or another, in some cases because they would not or perhaps could not change or adapt, but all too many have gone as a result of human intervention, like us taking certain forms of life to an area of Earth in which their natural predators were not to be found. So the balance of Nature was disturbed. 

If we care to look back over the years, it is not just the plants and animals which have changed, it is of course us too. We must adapt, if we are to survive. In my own set of circumstances as well as my experiences, I know how difficult it can be. I recall one person who lived with a few difficulties, in particular with really poor eyesight, but they felt that things in and around them ought to change, to be adapted or be altered to suit them. An example was where the print on some information boards in a couple of shopping centres was smaller than they wanted it to be. Seeing this I suggested to that person they might put a small magnifying glass in their coat pocket and use that when needed, or if they didn’t want to draw attention to their difficulty go over to an information desk and ask questions of the staff. That way, all concerned would be satisfied. It would also make sure that information staff were kept in a job! Sadly however this person did not see things the same way as me, in every sense. They are no longer with us and that is a shame, as they might have been able to show others how it is possible to overcome or at least manage difficulties, by keeping a positive outlook on life.

Whilst watching a wildlife film recently, I saw a polar bear go into a village and look for food. This village was within its ‘hunting ground’. Perhaps it couldn’t find fish, so it looked elsewhere. In order to survive, it looked for food. It adapted to what was going on around them. Right now we are also faced with a few difficulties that I hope will not be seen again for many years to come. But we too are having to adjust, to adapt to changing circumstances. I’ll not say too much on the situation, how it occurred or how long it might be with us. I do not know. But whatever the circumstances, we have to find ways to cope. There are many good people out there, helping a lot of others, but sadly there seems to be a number of selfish folk too.

Now, this is pure speculation on my part and I may be utterly mistaken here, but it occurs to me that just maybe we have in fact brought some of this Covid business down on ourselves. When I was a lad, it is true that we were taught to wash our hands before meals, we were always kept clean, we did not eat food that happened to drop onto the floor. But we played outside, we fell over, scraped our knees (mine still bear the scars!) and we messed about in the garden, playing ‘cowboys and indians’ in the dirt. We used ordinary soap, not sanitisers, we had disinfectant but not anything that killed 99% of household germs. So I do wonder if, as a result of modern cleansing, we have reduced the capabilities of our own immune systems. Like I say, I may be wrong but it is a thought, nonetheless.

Of course, a great many changes have been for the good. Years ago some of the tobacco companies managed to successfully influence physicians to not just promote the idea that smoking was healthy, but to recommend it as a treatment for throat irritation! Both my parents smoked, dear Dad especially. I didn’t, but it is possible that me inhaling the smoke from his cigarettes as he drove the car then exacerbated me developing the asthma which I now have. I also remember how asbestos was at first considered to be a really excellent material, I know parts of our garage at home were made of or at least contained it. Then its health risks were identified and things changed.

I have already written about how I’ve had to change, to adapt. Any change is rarely easy, even if it will lead to a much better and fulfilling life in the long run. Some years ago I made a mistake whilst driving and I really made a mess of the car. But I was then able to get a better one. Years later as I was buying a house, I had to sell my car and get a motorbike instead. I adapted my life to riding it, though sometimes I had to ask one of my workmates for help to undo the helmet chinstrap, as my fingers were frozen with the cold… I still shiver at the thought! But I did have good times riding that motorbike. Again, more years passed and I would travel every weekday to and from work by train, two hours each way. But I did it because I had to. It was part of my daily routine, which I had to adapt to. I have said previously about computers and their effect on me, how I had to adapt to using them. Though with me being left-handed, some folk where I was working must surely  have been really pleased, delighted even, to receive any paperwork from me that was now printed rather than hand-written! But it has been said that because the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, only left-handed people are in their right minds!!! Well… 😉

Things have changed over the years, I am not totally convinced they are all for the good, but as I keep saying, they do change. It is up (or is it down?) to us as to how we respond. My ex-wife used to complain that I would not have an argument with her, but as I’ve said in the past I do not see any point or value in them. Discuss, most definitely, listen to another’s point of view and then be prepared to change as appropriate. Or agree to disagree. To me, it is part of learning to cope with the changes and chances which come our way. I have spent quite a few years now sharing knowledge so that others might both learn and then share that same knowledge with others. So, whilst we must be receptive to learn new things, new ways, to accept change is not easy. It is all part of the learning process, learning to cope. But it is very hard to teach somebody if they think they already know it all.

I will stop for now with this.
A good friend of mine told me about someone who was totally useless at a particular job. My friend said “I knew his problem – way too much loft”. I asked him to explain and he simply grinned and said “Lack Of Flamin’ Talent”!

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