Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Disappointment

There are things in life we all have to deal with. Hurt, disappointment, betrayal, unfairness. Probably disappointment is the most difficult because usually there's no possible control over the factors that disappoint us. If we're hurt, we can hurt back or heal. If we're betrayed we can seek revenge or move on. If we're treated unfairly we can seek legal redress... or not.

But disappointment frequently rests on the actions of others or acts of God or events that are beyond our control. How we react to disappointment says a lot about us.

Last week, my grandchildren, a friend and I had a special "girls day out" planned. And then my friend woke up with a vicious stomach bug. As much as she wanted to go, it was clearly impossible. Well, what's so extraordinary about that, you say? I'll tell you: it was the very grown up way my granddaughters reacted to the postponement of their day out.

Both of them immediately talked to my friend on the phone, assuring her that her health was far more important than our proposed plans. And then they found something to keep themselves quietly occupied the rest of the afternoon. Not a word was said about the plans. I thought they demonstrated extraordinary grace for a five-year-old and an eleven-year-old. I was incredibly proud of them.

Too often I've watched adults have temper tantrums when disappointments come their way. No, I'm not talking about genuinely unfair or illegal treatment. I'm talking about things like someone showing up late for an event. Or having plans not quite work out. Or realizing that the store doesn't have the dress or coat in your size.

Disappointment is temporary. If we faced life's disappointments with grace and a willingness to seek an alternative, life would be much easier both for us and those around us. That doesn't mean we have to turn into a doormat. But it does mean we can act with dignity.

Sometimes, it isn't only adults who teach the lessons.

anny

6 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

WOW! What grown up grandchildren you have. I know most children would hoot, holler and pout because life is so unfair. You are truly blessed! Hope they get their "fun" day, they deserve it. :)

Delicious Romance From Cerise DeLand said...

Children are often so much more mature than we expect or imagine.
One thing certainly, we always want to say, today, I am content, fed, pleased at such and such. Tomorrow, that may not be the case--or worse.
So important to be in the NOW.

Fran Lee Romance said...

You have reason to be proud, Anny! And look who raised one of the parents who taught them that wonderful attitude.

Julia Barrett said...

Very true. Cool kids.

jean hart stewart said...

Fantstic! What a wonderful start to growing up. You;ve every right to strut a little.....Jean

Marianne Stephens said...

You're grandchildren reacted with compassion and understanding lots of adults don't have! Good for them and the wonderful upbringing they're receiving!