There are arguably a few constants in the universe in addition to death, taxes, and change. One from which none of us can escape, unless we decide to abscond to a deserted island, is interaction with that muddlesome factor of other human beings.
Coping or engaging with others is tiresome. To attempt any kind of adept navigation through the relationships which make each day complete, I often find myself making slight adjustments to my approach for each type of person. Do I lose myself in this? Not at all. But there are nuances to how I choose to engage with others based entirely on the situation, the person, my person, external factors, and so on.
I say all this because getting caught in this muck can be all too easy. As much as I might begin to vent to my innermost circle about a coworker, even engaging in that action can replicate the action I find so annoying in them. I can inwardly judge another for being irrational or hanging on to petty or temporary issues, but the longer I dwell upon it the more similarities develop between me and the person with whom I’m irked.
Here’s the thing: I hate human muck. I think it can be fascinating to dissect and assess each person’s motivations, but I don’t want to get dragged down into the personal hell someone else has created for themselves which is all too ready to customize a sinkhole that fits me perfectly. And if I were to have any shot at all to help them claw their way out of their own muck, I need to be clear of it myself. (In this instance, I don’t think Leo was referring to situations like this when he talked to Josh Lyman about climbing down into a hole to help him out. It’s a great quote, but a human muck hole can get awfully crowded.)
How do I stay clear of my own human muck? Well, I laugh. A lot. I seek out humor in just about everything, even if it makes me the target. I get my solid share of feeling stressed or beat or targeted, but I look to the foundations of my life which are, like death/taxes/change/muck, unchanging. I seek God when I’m focusing too much on these temporary issues instead of the big picture He surely has designed. And I always recognize the very real truth that His mercies really are “new every morning.” As each day dawns anew, I gain a refreshed perspective on what lies ahead.
I’m so thankful for my proclivity to all things cheery. I hope I never lose that focus, and more so that I’m able to feed it to others. I realize not everyone can shake off mortal coils of muck as easily as I might. But maybe prayer on my part, as well as a little light shone their way, can clear away a little muck for everyone.