It is what it is.
Have you ever heard that? Like over and over and over again, huh. It’s an approach to life, to events in your life that you cannot personally change. It’s raining–it is what it is. (That would be falling water, right?) It’s another day at the office–it is what it is. (That would mean that you have a job at an office) It’s another disagreement with your spouse–it is what it is. Wait. Are we really powerless in any of these circumstances? Do we have to accept these events and just plod along in life? How do we respond to these events? That is the real question, isn’t it. Ok, so it’s raining. Hmmm! my grass is going to look nice tomorrow! I think I’ll carry my umbrella, and if I wear galoshes, I can jump in the puddles! It’s another day at the office. Woohoo! I have a job! I get to see my friends! I get to meet new clients! I get to finish a project! I have 1 day less to work before my retirement. (Of course, if you’re a cop, you’ll be sent on a life threatening assignment and end up with John McClain in a movie…) Another disagreement with the spouse? Is that a pattern? Is it repeating the same argument you had yesterday or last week? What is the underlying problem? Is this a circumstance that cannot be changed? You’d better fix this.
You see, accepting events that are positive and negative and letting these events affect your mood and your behavior is backwards. These events do not define your life, YOU define your life. Believe it or not, if you respond positively to events in your life, whether they’re good or bad, you will open up opportunities you didn’t realize were there. The better you respond, the better the events will become.
It is what it is implies a static universe. It implies that it is a permanent situation. It implies that it determines it’s own destiny. Events don’t have a destiny. They are things that happen. I was watching a CSI Miami episode that was quite bizarre. A young man was pushed off the roof of a building, and meanwhile there was a jerk ruining a party. The host threatened the jerk with a flare gun, firing it through the window, and as the young man that had been pushed off the roof flew by the window, he was hit by the flare! There would have been NO POSSIBLE WAY to time it that well! Talk about a freak accident! The young man had to be standing in exactly the right place on the roof so that when he fell, he’d fall past this party’s window. The jerk had to stand precisely in a location near the window so that no one would see the falling man. The host would have had to have timed his shot and his aim to miss the jerk, break the window, and hit the falling man that he didn’t know was falling. In this case It is what it is would have been It might be on the off chance that it could have been. My son and I nearly laughed ourselves to tears thinking of this poor unfortunate’s last words: “Really? REALLY?” “I shouldn’t have had all that tequila!” “Oh Lord, I’m going to die of heart burn.” No death is not funny, but we realize that the writers were challenged this week.
Good and Bad things happen to Good and Bad people. Life IS fair, but it’s impartial. Gravity works all the time. If a person trips, they will fall down regardless of their relative goodness. “She died too young,” is something we say when a person meets with an unfortunate accident. Does the car swerve because the car recognizes the age of the impending victim? Does the lightning avoid the golf club because the golfer is going for a birdie? Are the laws of gravity suspended when a young woman missteps on a hike? Of course not. Does the sun refuse to shine on someone because he shoplifted? Does his tax refund come in too late just because he’s not in the church choir? (That would be a good recruiting approach…) Good things happen to bad people and good people. Bad things happen to bad people and good people. The response is what is different! When good things happen, good people praise God. When bad things happen, good people praise God. The better your response, the better your life. Lead your life, don’t let life lead you. Choose your responses to things that happen–good and bad.
It doesn’t have to be what it is. It is what you make of it!