So often when I hear or see of these disasters I try to imagine how I would feel, what it would be like to go off to work one day and come home to nothing, or maybe be unable to get home, to be cut off from the familiar and the safe.
Each day offers its own set of challenges, but in the grand picture, it seems less important on a day when a hang nail nags or the bosses yet again decide to change a way of doing things that does not fit with our immediate plans, maybe that isn’t so serious, maybe we don’t have to assign it the weight that we do.
And there is the most important thing, we are the ones assigning the importance of events, we are in our lives right now deciding if the guy in front of us who insists on going 5 mile under the speed limit is worth the anger, the elevated heart rate, the anxiety of tickets and the possibility of accidents. We are not in control of the weather, the elements, the drivers around us, the people we work with, the world in all its chaotic, discordant, jazzy rhythms, but we do have the ability to control our responses.
I am not always good at remembering this in the throes of the event, just now I drove dangerously close to a woman who was on the freeway going 50 in a 60 mile an hour zone. I was getting off at the next exit so I chose not to pass, I also choose to close the gap between us to an unacceptable and highly dangerous level. Why? Was I late for work? No. Do I care about being on time? No. I could be a half hour late and nobody would really bat an eyelash, but I had made up my mind to get behind her, I would show her how to drive, I would teach her a lesson. As soon as the event was over and I was safely on the off ramp I realized what I had done, it could have ended in a tragedy for both of us, why did I need to do this? There is no reasons for why only another opportunity to try again. So in this moment I will choose to be present and recognize my reactions as they are occurring and see if I can make better choices.