4. What message would you give to the world if everyone was listening?
Be kind to, respect, and be patient with each other. Or as my mother would say when I was 5 years old and fed up with my tiny, annoying brother – treat other people the way you want to be treated.
Stop assuming that everyone is out to maliciously and deliberately ruin your day – everyone is just trying to do the best they can. Sometimes, their fuck-ups run in to your day, and sometimes your fuck-ups run in to someone else’s day. Someone cut you off on the road, or chose to pay their shopping total with 10c coins, or called with a query that seems really pointless and ignorant to you? Just breathe. In one week, will you still be fuming over it? In one month, are you really going to care?
“Imagine you’re rowing a boat on a foggy lake, and out of the fog comes another boat that crashes into you! At first you’re angry at the fool who crashed into you — what was he thinking! You just painted the boat. But then you notice the boat is empty, and the anger leaves … you’ll have to repaint the boat, that’s all, and you just row around the empty boat. But if there were a person steering the boat, we’d be angry!
Here’s the thing: the boat is always empty. Whenever we interact with other people who might “do something to us” (be rude, ignore us, be too demanding, break our favorite coffee cup, etc.), we’re bumping into an empty boat. We just think there’s some fool in that boat who should have known better, but really it’s just a boat bumping into us, no harm intended by the boat.”
No one is perfect. Be patient, and be kind. The world would be a nicer place if more people treated others with the kindness, respect and patience they desire.