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Playing the Blues

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Playing the Blues
MANKALA: At the Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Life can be so unfair.

Some of us are ugly, some beautiful, some smart, some a bit slow and we all have different physical abilities.

But we all have strong points, so how we feel about our lives has a lot to do with where we place our focus.

We also live in an amazing age of medical and technological progress and have many more options than our ancestors did, so we could easily feel lucky.

Most of us, however, don’t do that. Instead we choose to focus on the down side and sing the blues.

I mean, even when things go extremely well, many of us manage to find something to complain about.

I notice other people doing that all the time, but I’m mentioning it now because I think I was guilty of doing the same thing in the lead up to this column.

It was definitely a focus problem, but it also had to do with expectations.

I had some issues three years ago when I went to my first music festival over here in England.

The camping area resembled a car park, the portable toilets were filthy, some of the music was crap and there were far too many white men with dreadlocks.

After the event, however, I had so many things to complain about that my next column pretty much wrote itself.

So, when I went to another festival last week, I figured this week’s effort was sorted.

The Shrewsbury Folk Festival was aimed at a well-to-do audience and it was held on an established fairground.

The camping and toilet facilities were top notch, and I enjoyed all the performers, including my daughter Maggie, so unfortunately, everything went extremely well.

Really… that’s what I was thinking on the drive home.

‘Unfortunately, everything went well at the festival so now I have to find something else to write about this week.’

In the end, that’s not what happened, but I struggled to find a topic for several days before I realised how silly I had been to feel disappointed.

Then when I shifted my focus to the things I liked about the event and analysed my reaction, I discovered I already had what I needed.

Unfortunately, though, this thing did not write itself.

Like I said earlier, life is unfair. Oh well, things will probably even out in our next lives.

Then again, maybe they won’t …

A bus full of ugly people had a head on collision with a truck.

They all died and when they got to heaven, God granted each of them one wish.

The first person said, “I want to be gorgeous.” God snapped his fingers and it happened.

The second person said the same thing and God did the same thing.

This went on and on throughout the group.

God noticed the last man in line was laughing hysterically and by the time He got around to beautifying the next-to-last person, the last man was laughing and rolling on the ground.

Then, when it his turn finally came, he said, “I wish they were all ugly again.”