Bungan beach was pumping out some beautiful waves off the point – and before long I found myself feeling out of place amongst a pack of at least twenty surfers. For some reason it’s hard to be aggressive and win the fight for a wave when you’re on a bodyboard. Anyway, I managed to catch one of the biggest ones of the day and was cruising across the face of it until a surfer dropped in on me. As we collided and simultaneously plunged into the whitewash, I did my best to protect my face and brace myself for the impact of his fibre-glass surfboard. It felt like the force of the wave kept me under for a long time, and I began to think – what happens next? Countless times before I’ve seen surfers and bodyboarders alike get incredibly angry and explosive towards the person that just ruined their wave. I’ve heard many four-letter words thrown around out there and they’re never ‘love’. Surely enough I felt the bitterness growing in my heart as I resurfaced and looked up at the surfer. I felt like glaring, or at least shaking my head...but I didn’t. I guess I realised that it was something so insignificant, and something that I just needed to accept and forget about.
What’s the point of being bitter over such a small issue? People get annoyed about so many things these days, some that I understand and some that I don’t. Isn’t it weird that one thing that gets a person fired up might not even bother someone else? It’s no secret that a fair few people in post-modern society have a tendency to lean towards individual gain. Often you can predict what’s going to happen next in certain situations – this person is going to be very disappointed, or very upset. Isn’t it a great feeling when you get it completely wrong? When they simply say ‘it’s okay’ or ‘that’s life’? I’ve come to understand that in MOST circumstances, we’re able to stop for a moment and ask ourselves, ‘what happens next?’ We could be angry...or spiteful...but also forgiving and understanding when someone hurts us. Everyone is human, so everyone makes mistakes. Lately I’ve realised how stupid I am for getting annoyed at certain things that mean nothing in the long run. How different would life be if we constantly halted and thought about the consequences of our actions?
I was watching Mr Bean a while ago and at one point in the movie he is led to believe that the rude finger is actually a welcoming gesture. Man I love that scene. After watching it, I told one of my good mates that we should start a revolution and change the middle finger’s meaning to ‘hello’. Of course, that was never going to work. However, what if we didn't take it to heart when someone flipped us off? Every time someone on the football field swears at me or abuses my teammates, I feel like saying that words are only words, and there’s no validity in what you yell out of anger at someone you don’t truly know. What if we had the type of attitude that didn’t retaliate at all? I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness, but rather, of strength. To not care about what other people think or the little mannerisms that have the potential to be frustrating as hell. I’m not talking about a superior attitude – where pride gets the better of us and we constantly yearn for a moral victory. I’m talking about acceptance. We have time to think – and that’s enough to get over the heat of the moment (or avoid saying something we’ll regret).
Wouldn’t it be cool if we carried an attitude of acceptance into every sphere of our lives? Alanis Morissette wrote a song called ‘Ironic’, which details some of the ironies many people face. I’ve grown to accept the fact that bad things can happen to good people. There are so many imperfections in this world, and that’s part of the reason why I love it.
For every bad situation I’ve been in, someone’s been through something worse. It’s the biggest cliché ever, but I’m just grateful to be alive.
At the end of the day, we generally have a say in what happens next. Our words have the power of life and death. I could list a thousand things that annoy me, but I think I could also eradicate over half of them with some simple self-evaluation and logic. That's definitely something worth thinking about.
Quote Bank: “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right. And life has a funny way of helping you out when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face.” – Alanis Morissette