Magazine article Ebony

The Ups and Downs of Life: Instead of Being Happy ..., We Live a Life in Which We Let Our Well-Being Be Determined by Too Many External Factors

Magazine article Ebony

The Ups and Downs of Life: Instead of Being Happy ..., We Live a Life in Which We Let Our Well-Being Be Determined by Too Many External Factors

Article excerpt

I was at my neighborhood park the other day, just me, my 3 year-old daughter, and our attempt to defy the laws of physics. It all started when she asked me to play on the seesaw with her. Despite my attempts to explain that I was too big and she was too small to successfully teeter-totter, she was convinced that both of us could take turns flying through the air.

So she sat down. Then, I sat down. She went up. I went down. She stayed up. I stayed down. It was no fun. She wanted to get off the seesaw and wanted me to push her on the swing.

While the seesaw served as her first lesson in gravity, for me, it served as a life lesson. Ever looked at a seesaw? I mean really looked at it? It's one of the simplest pieces of equipment on the playground, but one of the most complex to operate. Without the proper balance on each side, the darn thing is useless. Much like a seesaw being weighted down by the big daddy on the playground, life--without the even weight distribution, or as some folks call it "an even keel"--can be tilted out of whack.

The concept of a well-balanced life, filled with ups and downs, is a simple notion, but one that some of us find hard to grasp. Too many of us let too many things upset our balance. Instead of being happy and healthy and joyful and blessed, not too up, not too down.

Women, material items, friends, work--all good when kept in their proper perspective. But when your lady stops loving right, your job stops paying right, and your friends stop acting right, does that leave you in a tailspin? Are you the type of Brother dependent on so many people and things to "make" you happy that your day, your week, your month is ruined when things that you can't control go differently than you had anticipated?

We should all strive to be independent Brothers, able to rely solely on ourselves for happiness. …

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