As I was standing in line waiting to enter church, a car loudly honked its horn and in reaction, a young girl around the age of thirteen or maybe fourteen turned to her Mother and said, with clenched fists and grinding teeth, “See, this is why I could never live in New York City.”
I overheard this and silently laughed to myself, thinking, “Well I’ve been living here for almost six years and it’s not so bad”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of individuals currently living in New York City is approximately 8.6 million. That number is almost unfathomable. The fact that this many people cohabit one tiny island is overwhelming.
And the number of people who are angry, frustrated, and annoyed each and every day is almost comparable to the total number of people living here.
People often forget the fact that we do have a choice in regards to where we are in life — and by that, I mean where we reside in this particular scenario.
We do have a choice to stay or go as we please.
Whenever I hear someone complain about living in the city, I feel compelled to ask them, “So, then why are you living here?”
And often, I’m given some defensive response along the lines of an excuse about work, friends, family, etc.
But, the truth is we can leave. We just don’t.
So, if you’re going to be somewhere, but you can’t change the situation, then I suggest changing your attitude towards the situation instead.
There are always going to be reasons for annoyance or offense when living in a city as densely packed as New York. At the drop of a hat, the most minor trigger could set someone off. And usually, there will be at least one person within your immediate vicinity who will be.
After six years of living here, I have finally come to realize that I need to stop blaming outside factors for my misery or frustration. I used to blame the city, blame the people, blame my circumstances.
But, I know now that even if I had gone somewhere else, I would have taken whatever misery or frustration I had along with me. Because, inherently, I would be the same person that I am in one place as I would be in another.
That is, unless I decide to change my attitude.
It has taken me a long time to realize that my reactions to an event can change the entire course of the outcome.
In the law of Physics, as Newton claimed,
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
Meaning that whatever kind of energy you put out there will come right back to you in full force.
And so, I tell you again —
If you can’t change the situation, then instead change the outcome by changing your attitude towards it.
I promise you that you’ll be a lot happier and life will get a lot more manageable when you do.