I once knew this couple. The husband, an able-bodied man, sat at his desk day after day. From there he paid bills, worked on his documents, and led an active life on social media. He was often heard complaining that the room where he carried out his activities was dark as a cave. Tired of his complaints, his wife threw open the curtains and adjusted the blinds and opened the window.
“Oh my heavens, that’s much better!” he exclaimed. He was shocked at the difference.
“Why didn’t you pull the curtains back and open the blinds?” his wife asked.
“It didn’t occur to me.”
At the end of the day, when it began to grow dark, they closed the windows, blinds and draperies. The next morning, just as the wife was leaving for her busy day, she heard her husband.
“It’s as dark and dreary as a cave in here!”
“Yes, it is,” his wife said. “Since you spend your day in here, you really should do something about it.”
What does this mean for you?
It’s one thing to get caught up in a project and miss the obvious. If the man was involved in his work and lost track of the day, and realized he’d never opened the windows, that would be one thing. But to have seen the difference it made, and go back to complaining isn’t taking responsibility. He was the one bothered by it. He could have chosen other options: worked in another room, or turned on a light.
It doesn’t make sense to expect others to make our environments better for us. Obviously, his wife wasn’t bothered by his sitting in darkness. (She spent her time in her own carefully tailored environment.) If we don’t like the situation we’re in, it’s up to us to change it. Complaining about it isn’t a forward action.
Are there places in your life where you’re waiting for someone else to change the situation? Is there any place in your life where you’re “sitting in a cave?” What can be done to brighten that space? How can you change it?