How to be less upset

 “What’s wrong?” I asked my little boy when he came home from school many years ago. He answered “nothing”, but his gloomy face told me something had made him upset.

Later that day he told me they had sung in school. One song was about the months of the year. The hopeful months of spring and the joyful months of summer. Full of anticipation he sat waiting to hear what the song would say about his month, the month in which he was born.

When they sang about a boring, rainy month he became sad. He had always liked his month, and now his beloved teacher and his classmates had sung that it was not a good month.

It is easy to smile about this and think that only children feel this way.

The truth is, we can feel like this long after childhood.

As grown-ups we can get upset if people talk badly about our country, our favourite football team, or the clothes we wear.

It is as if we are extending who we are to what we wear, where we live and what we are interested in. And if anyone doesn’t like what we like, we take it as a personal insult.

No wonder the world seems filled with upset and hurt people.

That evening many years ago, my son and I talked about the beauty of October; the most colourful month of the year, the month when we decorate pumpkins for Halloween and celebrate the birth of a wonderful boy.

What others think of October doesn’t matter, we concluded, as long as we like it.

To quote Jack Canfield:

“What others think about you is none of your business.”

When you treat other people’s opinion as none of your business you will immediately feel better.

You may even become as happy as a child who is, once again, proud of being born in colourful October.

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