Everyone’s heard it. On the surface of it, it’s kind of an “oh, well” throwaway statement, perhaps just intended to fill some uncomfortable dead air at a moment of loss for anything more profound. I suppose it’s a useful verbal trinket if it only does that, but I’ve come to appreciate its utility on a somewhat more philosophical plane.
For one thing, it resonates an acceptance of circumstances that’s both refreshing and rare in this day and age of “instant on whine”. Everyone, this blogger included, is so acclimated to sharing their feelings, opinions and indignities arising from the mundane injustices of everyday life, that the stoicism of “it is what it is” is nothing if not a relief.
On a personal level, I think every time we cheerfully absorb an inconvenience or ignore an instance of lack of consideration by another, without “registering” it on our own personal scoreboard for the unfairness of it all, is like the over-eating episode you avoid, leaving your waistline without the eventual price attached.
I’m also pretty sure “I.I.W.I.I” taps into some of the underlying tenets of Buddhism – the notion of “mindfulness”. I don’t pretend to understand the subtleties of it, but this involves being “in the moment” (and accepting the moment) in such a way as to shed residue from the past and fretting over the future in a way that allows you to “tone down” the impact of daily irritations and annoyances. If I remain mindful of “mindfulness”, I find it does just that.
It’s not a philosophical approach everyone shares. For example, when I see my friend Mary, for whom “I.” is definitely not just “W.I.I.”, I have to steel myself with the timely reminder, (you know…).