John: Someone keeps stealing pens off my desk! Whenever I need a pen, I can't find one!
Mary: Well, pens don't cost very much. Why don't you just buy a bunch of them once a month? Just think of them as perishable items that have to be replenished.
John: I shouldn't have to do that! It's notmy fault the pens go missing! People need to stop stealing my pens!
Mary: Okay. What can you do to stop them from stealing your pens? Do you have a cabinet or something you can lock them in?
Mary: Can you tell your boss? If there's a security problem in your office, maybe he can...
John: I've tried that. He doesn't care! He says its just pens. That's not the point! It's stealing. Stealing is wrong!
Mary: You're right. It is wrong. It sucks that your boss isn't going to do anything about it, but I guess that's the way it is. And it seems like it's causing you a lot of anxiety. Wouldn't you feel better if you spent $2 on pens once a week? You could just assume they'll get stolen and get new ones when you need them. That way, you'd know you'd always have a pen!
John: Why should I be the one who has to buy new pens?
Mary: You shouldn't be, but you are.
John: That's not fair!
There's nothing wrong with striving for fairness and justice. But if that's not possible, it's pointless to fall into a mode where you're constantly stressed out and throwing your hands up in disgust. The pen problem literally used to drive me crazy. Then I took Mary's advice. The truth is, I earn enough money that buying pens a couple of times a month is no big deal. I wish people wouldn't steal from me, but I'm just not going to worry about it. A couple of dollars a month let me check a worry off my list.That is money well spent!
All it needed just a small tweaking in attitude to look at the situation.