Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shaw's prescription for joy



I first encountered this quotation by George Bernard Shaw in Michael J. Fox's autobiography, 'Lucky Man'.  In it Fox says he wants to live his life, now encumbered with Parkinson's disease, without self-pity and without making the lives of those around him miserable with his grievances.  He uses what strength he has to raise awareness and money about and for Parkinson's disease and has succeeded admirably in those efforts.  I enjoyed his book and think he leads an exemplary life - and it seems, one filled with joy.

I love Shaw's turn of phrase about avoiding being a "feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances.......".  It often comes to mind when I am about to share a list of current complaints.......and I try to pull back the impulse - and when I succeed  feel much better for it!



8 comments:

  1. Hi, Bonnie. So true. It's safe to assume that everyone we meet has his or her own long and compelling list of real or perceived ailments/afflictions. They don't want to be burdened by our list of ailments too.

    It's always better to offer some good cheer and to make some effort to share the burden they're carrying. Funny thing about carrying another's burden is it usually makes our own burdens lighter. How that can happen is a paradox, but it's true.

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  2. I have always had a lot of admiration for Michael J. Fox. I thought he was a good guy before he was struck with Parkinsons, but I think 10 times as highly of him after seeing how he has coped with and handled himself with the terrible hand he was dealt.
    Those are good words to remember. That last quote really hits home in that i too can sometimes find too many things to complain about, but I remember how I feel about others that do and I try to remind myself to keep a lid on it and change my mindset if needed.

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  3. "feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances.......".

    Hey, what's he wanna insult me like that for? After all, I'm asleep much of the time.

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  4. wonderful quote...and i will have to remember it next time i want to growl. lot o wisdom there.

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  5. bonnie - that's such a great quote. i'd like to think that that's how i'll continue to live my life. with a lot more besides but at its working essence, this is a sweet gathering together of what i hope for. sseven

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  6. Love the quote! But I don't think I can live it, I am a natural born k'vetcher!

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  7. I may vent my annoyances but I certainly don't expect the world to devote itself to my happiness. There are times though when I have to remind my husband that although I love him dearly, my world does not revolve around him.

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  8. That's great, Bonnie! Very pithy, as one would expect of himself. It's worth printing and sticking on the wall beside my computer. In fact, it might even be worth making a screen saver of!

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