Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bleg: We All Make Hell In Our Own Image

I was just talking to High Command about a mutual friend who's going through some unhappiness. From our perspective, it's completely incomprehensible and there's no reason why this unhappy situation should exist and persist. Mid-lament, I remarked, "We all make hell in our own image."

And this is something I've noticed about miserable people. They respond to situations to create web of perceptions that filters whatever reality gets through to them. You can think about Charles Swindoll's comment that 90% of our lives is how we respond to the 10% that actually happens. Mindful of this, I purpose to choose my response. And when I had cancer, I chose to maintain a positive mental attitude, because I knew that was the only thing I could control in that situation.

Thus I've said, "We all make hell in our own image," hundreds of times over the last couple decades. But this time, my wife said, "Did you come up with that yourself?" I remember coming to this conclusion independently, but I seriously doubt that it's original to me.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, I am looking for any "prior art" associated with this aphorism--someone else (and I suspect that someone would be Hindu) who's said something equivalent. I'm offering a small reward, to the person or persons who contribute quotes from philosophy, religion, literature, or bumper stickers that capture this insight.

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