Sarah Watson is a young woman who contracted HIV eleven years ago at the age of seventeen. She and her boyfriend discovered that they were both HIV positive.
Sarah did not think HIV would happen to her and for six years viewed it as her death sentence.
She felt lethargic and tired and had several other unpleasant and demoralising symptoms.
However, she found out that treatment and a positive attitude can improve things. She began to set goals and achieve them.
By her birthday in December 2004, she was 28 years old and had discovered a mission to help others by telling of her own experience. In a television interview recently, she looked relaxed, cheerful and attractive.
She was asked if the stigma of HIV was as bad now as it was eleven years ago in 1993. She said many people support her but some people gossip.
Instead of letting the gossip depress her, she "lets it fly over her head." Her calmness in the face of gossip makes sense.
When being criticised unfairly by others or even ourselves, we should let the criticism fly over our heads and fill our heads instead with positive thoughts about ourselves and our potential.
One such positive thought for those without a serious illness might be to thank God or the universe for their good health or even for having an illness which can be cured completely.
We should all be grateful that we are healthy enough to set and achieve goals.
We become what we think about most and need to spend much of our time thinking about our goals and the best ways to achieve them. Unfair criticism that distracts us from these thoughts can sabotage our best efforts and destroy our focus.
Criticism or poor treatment by others can be very depressing especially when it is demonstrably unfair. Many people, including myself, waste hours mulling over the criticism or shabby treatment, thinking angry and resentful thoughts.
This is a complete waste of time and injures no one except the person who has been criticized. Resentful thoughts can destroy our motivation and our momentum.
It can even us stop us completely in our tracks and cause us to give up or resign from whatever we are doing.
Recently, someone calling themselves 'Shawnee' has hijacked one of my email addresses to send out spam to people all over the world in both English and German.
This is shabby treatment to say the least. Why would anyone want to get someone else blamed for sending out their spam? Send out spam, if you want to, but at least have the decency to use your own email address!
As you can imagine, I was ready to track down 'Shawnee' wherever he lived and throw his computer and, possibly, Shawnee himself out of the window. However, such thoughts are a useless distraction.
Even if I found out where Shawnee lived, it would not be worth my time and effort to track him down and then get thrown into prison for my pains.
Far better to let it all 'blow over' as my web designer advised and get on with my own plans. In fact, it does now seem to have blown over. Maybe he has realized that I am getting close to his IP address and ready to report him for his internet offences.
I remember getting annoyed when I was a young boy because I did not receive the crusty corner of the Yorkshire pudding that I preferred. My grandad had given it to someone else!
I felt that I had been unfairly treated and angrily announced to every one that I would eat a spoonful of mustard instead.
My astonished family looked on as I swallowed a spoonful of mustard. No one suffered except me!
When we are criticized or feel unfairly done by, we can either eat a spoonful of mustard or let the incident fly over our heads and get on with achieving our goals.
I now know which I prefer!
John Watson is an internet info publisher and martial arts instructor. He has received several awards for teaching religious education to teenagers and for instructing all ages in the martial arts.
He has a degree in English and blackbelts in several martial arts. He has played drums in pop bands and the bagpipes in a pipe band and achieved several other goals.
He has recently written two books about achieving your aims. These can be found at