What to Take Care of

Sunday, 27 July 2003

[Picture: Elvis’s pendant:Taking Care of Business]EACH and every person has areas of their lives in which they have some control or influence. This is important to know and to understand what it can mean, but it is something that is all-too-often overlooked or forgotten.

The news media feeds us information and invites us to ‘do something about it’ — to ‘give money’, to ‘vote now’. We are asked to care and to become involved in some way.

While this is sometimes done openly and directly, it can also be done indirectly. Things that are abstract or distant to our lives can still seem to have a bearing; for example, if we hear that more children are truant from school, then we may well wonder if we know children who are truants.

  • The fact is that most people have very little control over or direct influence on such matters, but consideration of the effects brings to light two general outlooks:
  1. There are those people who fall for the media message, believe that they have a democratic influence or right of opinion, and who therefore believe that they have some influence (or that they should have some influence). They care and want to get involved.This type focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the natural environment, and all sorts of other circumstances over which they actually have no control and little influence.This merely results in blaming and accusing attitudes, re-active language, and increased feelings of victimisation, injustice and so forth.
  2. Then there are those people who do not emotionally relate or re-act to the media. They do not care and do not get involved.This is not because these people are callous or case hardened, but because they are busy being more effective.Their focus is on areas where they do have control, where they can influence, and this results in happier feelings of being effective, responsible, positive and pro-active people.

It is exhausting to spend a great deal of effort on ‘lost causes’, and in proportioning time and effort in this way, less time and effort is available for those areas where there is a ‘real’ concern — where there is influence and control.

Remember — ‘To get something you have to give up something’.

Thus people who work within their area of influence are happier, more successful, more fulfilled and more effective — they concentrate on positive pro-activities as a priority — and at the expense of the ‘bigger picture’ of human rights issues abroad, the running of the country, or the interest rate.

  • Elvis Presley used to call it ‘Taking Care of Business’, and there’s always the well-known dictum: ‘Get your own house in order first’.

If more people got this priority right, and followed the etiquettes, then in a few generations, many of the ‘bigger’ problems would disappear.

Prioritising depends upon allegiances, agreements and understandings, there are levels of loyalty, and these need to be given careful consideration.

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