This guy I know, he likes to sigh a lot. He’s a complainer. His normal tone of voice is something between a groan and a moo.

Historically, I have gotten along not at all well with this species, as I am of the happy variety of person. Or perhaps practical is a better way of describing my general state of mind: If there are things to be unhappy or worried about, I will be unhappy and worried for a while until I figure out if I can do anything about the situation or not. If I can, I will take action. If I cannot, I will Let. It. Go. A shrug is one of my most powerful spiritual practices.

Or, as the Dalai Lama said, “If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”

Or as my Mom likes to say, If you’re worried, pray. If you pray, don’t worry.

Historically, I should point out, I have had plenty to worry about, not least of which being whether or not my business would be boarded up and condemned on any given workday. Just as a for example. In fact, it was when I was a stressed-out nightclub owner that I learned the shrug method. When things are just that much out of your control, you kind of have to. Or you explode.

So anyway this guy. Moo moo moo, he says to me today. I got something to tell you moo. Hooray, I think. But it turns out to start sounding like good news, something about suddenly finding out he is getting a tidy little sum of money for no good reason, some distant relative left it to him. (See how I said that in about twenty words? It took twenty minutes to get this tale of woe out of the guy, with all the sighing and groaning and side stories about his cat’s various illnesses. Good lord.)

So congratulations I say! Free money! But he shakes his head.

Moo moo moo! You don’t understand! Now I have to pay TAXES on it!!!

So it’s a little less free money, but free money all the same. This is why I don’t get along well with such people. They make me want to punch them in the face, give them something to really cry about.

I guess that’s where the Dalai Lama and I part ways, huh.

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