Sunday, May 27, 2007


I was at a conference recently and the featured speaker opened his talk by saying: “I’m sure of what I am going to say. I am not so sure what you will hear!” and he went on to give this example:

A State Trooper stopped a man driving a pickup truck that was filled with penguins. He said, “You can’t be driving these birds around town. Take them to the Zoo immediately.” The next day the officer was amazed to see the same driver with his truck filled, once again, with the penguins. The only difference was that this time all the birds were wearing little sun glasses. The Trooper stopped the truck driver and angrily said, “I thought I told you to take these birds to the Zoo.” “I did,” replied the driver, “and today we’re going to the beach !!”

Isn’t that a great story? It made me really look at the fact that so many of us can read, hear or see the same thing and yet perceive it in a completely different way.. I guess it is based on our backgrounds, our innate prejudices and, sometimes, just plain stupidity. No wonder there is such a disconnect between humans.

Keeping an open mind is something that I’ve been cultivating over the past 18 years. These years have been spent in Alcoholics Anonymous and, believe me, that is the place to test your patience and tolerance. A sense of humor and some very wise members kept me on track. I am so glad they did because I wouldn’t have missed this journey for the world.

I always had high expectations and it wasn’t until I saw life through a different pair of glasses that I came to realize that I was cheating myself. “Cease expecting and you have all things” says Buddha. How crystal clear that is to me today. By taking the expectations out of my daily life I find that I receive much more than I would have settled for on my own. I no longer fight life. I accept things as they are and if I don’t condone or approve of them I leave them alone. (Who am I to change the universe to MY specifications?)

So my new outlook on life (tried and tested over the past 18 years) is simplicity personified. I make plans, but I don’t predict the outcome. I accept people, places and things as they are and I realize that the only person I can change is ME !


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ginnie,
I enjoyed reading this post. In the past I have suffered from High Expectations Disorder. Part of my spiritual work parallels yours. I find that if I let go of expectations I am open to receive a wider range of experience.

As always, thanks for the thought and care that you put into your entries.

By the way, I'm going to take your penguins and raise you ten.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Are you saying that we have to go to AA for 18 years and take penguins to the beach before we get it? hahahaha

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If more people read this post and then truly "listened" to it, what a much different society we'd live in. SO bravo to you for touching on a topic I SO firmly believe in.
Although not a 12-step member, I live by their credo..."Accept the things I cannot change" is the biggest one and certainly got me through our recent loss of Holly. In most situations, I hope for the best and prepare for the worst. It hasn't failed me yet.
Excellent post, Ginnie!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Melly` said...

Woops - I just read it as how nice it would be to take penguins to the beach!

5:49 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

"Who am I to change the universe to MY specifications?"

Ginnie, I wish everyone had this as their motto!! I know people who want to do that everyday, starting with me (mr. kenju, mostly) LOL

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'the only person I can change is ME' ... If only others were as wise Ginnie.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Hi everybody...I have enjoyed all of your comments very much and, AC, you wouldn't need 18 years of AA...I'm just a slow learner !!

10:53 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

A wonderful credo by which to live--one need not be in AA to learn the value of acceptance.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

It reminds me of a story of a man, he is a pauper by all onlookers' thoughts, he is sitting on the sidewalk on a very large box. He holds a sign, it says, "Money to help a homeless man please". A man comes along, he asks what is in the box. The pauper replies, "I do not know, why does it matter, I just sit here every day anyways". So, the pauper stands up and looks inside the box, it is filled with, moral is, " Look within, see what you behold within, the treasures are truly closer, if only you will look, be in the NOW"

6:34 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Acceptance and an open mind, with those two things we could change the world.

Loved the story!!!

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. Loved every word -- will pass this one along to a friend of mine. "The only person we can change is ourselves." That line says so much!!!

7:57 AM  
Blogger dmmgmfm said...

I agree with you completely. Wonderful post, Ginnie. Loved the penguins, too.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting older and wiser...
A great post

12:17 AM  
Blogger Mortart said...

I love your philosophy of life.

6:57 PM  

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