I used to be one of the most efficient drivers on the road, which means I was a real a-hole.
God forbid if you ever stopped in the right turn lane and waited for the light to turn green before merging. And don’t even get me started on the “idiots” who would block the right turn lane by not staying close to the center divider.
People who drove too slow in the fast lane were “morons,” but “psychos” who drove faster than I did deserved a ticket.
Don’t forget who is in the backseat while you are roadraging
While visiting a friend’s coffee plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii, my step-father told the story of how he used to pick coffee beans in Kona when he was a kid. When someone asked how much he got paid, he simply said, “kokua.” Kokua is the Hawaiian tradition of “extending loving, sacrificial help to others for their benefit, not for personal gain.”
Later, on the plane ride home, I watched a documentary about the Hawaiian rainforests. A Hawaiian medicine man mentioned how he would only gather enough medicinal plants for the sick person. “Hawaiian medicine is not for sale,” he scolded.
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I reacted like I normally do–I screamed bloody murder. What was different this time was that I was conscious of what I was doing.
It was as if I was standing outside of myself watching like a silent bystander. “What an idiot,” I mused as I watched me spiral into more and more anger as the poo contaminated water splashed all over the bathroom floor.
I became painfully aware that the screaming me was running a program without any thought or compassion. The screaming me was angry not because of the situation, but because it seemed like being angry was the proper response. The observer me noted that one of the reasons I was screaming had nothing to do with my son or the poo. I was screaming so that my wife who was in the kitchen could hear. I was screaming because I felt unappreciated for ALWAYS having to clean up the poo. Continue reading →
“I hate myself at school,” said my 5 year old son as he crossed out the picture he was drawing of himself.
How I make my son deal with problems at school.
Turns out some of his friends wouldn’t play with him during recess. My wife was concerned and wanted to talk about it early the next morning. I listened to her and reassured her that he would be ok. Then I quickly checked my email, so that I could sit in meditation for at least 30 minutes before the boys woke up.
My wife got upset that I was not paying attention to her and the issue with our son, but I needed to meditate.
Sitting in meditation, I realized that the reason it is called a meditation practice is because we are practicing mindfulness for “real life.” What use is practice if we don’t use the skills in the “real game”? By not being mindful while talking to my wife, I was throwing all the meditation practice I had done down the drain. Continue reading →
Has this every happened to you? Someone cuts you off on the road and almost causes an accident. You get so outraged, you drive up next to this idiot and try to give them the “stink eye,” but they ignore you. You are so upset that you don’t see the car in front of you and almost cause an accident because you weren’t watching the road.
It happens to me all the time. I get so indignant when someone puts my life and the lives of my sons in danger. And why shouldn’t I? They are in the wrong. I am just minding my own business, and some maniac swoops in front me like a bat out of hell. “How dare they? Don’t they know who I am?”
The irony is that I put my life and the lives of my sons’ in danger by trying to seek justice for this violation. The real question I should be asking myself is “who am I to get so upset about something I am often guilty of myself?” Continue reading →