This past week, the internet has blown up with this image a guy mowing his yard with a tornado on the horizon:
I love this for so many reasons, one of which is that he is the real life version of one of my favorite memes:
I've got so many questions for this guy. Are you the world's biggest procrastinator? (I can relate.) Did you tell your wife you were going to get the yard mowed before the storm and you're now proving her wrong no matter what? (I can relate) Are you about to run that mower right into a tree because you're trying to look cool for the picture? (I can relate) Is that a desert behind your house and if so how is your yard so green? (I can't relate)
He said he was 'keeping an eye on it.' He said 'it was a lot further away than it looked.' He said his yard 'looks nice.' Someone get this guy a medal.
The memes and reactions are pouring out. This picture makes for a great life metaphor. "I certainly can't control if that tornado makes my yard look like a hot mess, but I can control if I do." There are things outside of our control and outside of our responsibility that threaten to distract us from the things we can control and our responsible for. We have a choice in whether or not we allow for the distraction. Epictetus wrote:
“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, and internals I can control. I can can control how I relate to the things I cannot control. I do control where I find good and bad. In me, in my choices.”
Epictetus also wrote:
“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are our opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.”
Take care of whatever is in your yard and don't let someone else's yard be your excuse for not maintaining yours.