Conserve your energy, protect your inner peace.
I was checking out at a departmental store the other day. I was number three in the queue. A man had began waiting beside me a few minutes after I joined the queue. I assumed that he was with the lady who was just ahead of me in the queue. But I soon realized that I was wrong. He elbowed past me as soon as the lady checked out and dumped his basket before I could even haul mine in place. I was irritated by his antics but I was not planning to protest. That’s when he did something preposterous. He looked at me and said, “Sir, you look like a gentleman. Behave like one. I was always ahead of you.” I smiled back at him and gestured to him to have his way. When he checked out, the young lady ringing in the bills at the counter asked me, “Sir, if you had put your foot down, I would have rung in your bill. But you let him go ahead. You didn’t even react to his unkind, uncalled-for remark.”
I smiled back graciously at the young lady, thanked her for ringing in my bill in good time and checked out.
On the ride back home, I thought of what I would have done, in the same situation, 10 years ago. I would have fought the man, his antics and his insult. But I have learnt now, that conserving energy is very crucial to staying happy, anchored and peaceful. Or simply, there is no need to say something to counter whatever someone has said at all; just avoid responding, retaliating and getting even with everything that someone has to say.
These conflicts happen endlessly, each day. Someone shows you his middle finger on the road. An impudent teen scowls at you because you questioned why she jumped the traffic light. A neighbor accuses you of violating their privacy last night because you had guests over and the music volume was higher than usual. An irate boss says you are not performing as well as you should be. Some of these events may have happened even though you did not contribute to, or cause, them. Which makes it often all the more difficult to handle. Your initial sense of shock fades into anger and you want to ‘get even’. And then one thing leads to another. Pretty soon, you are either sulking or fuming.
In the overall scheme of Life, such petty conflicts are simply not worth entering into and are not worth your time, attention or energy. I don’t see anyone as affecting my dignity in such contexts anymore. I only see it as their lack of evolution. I see it like this: “If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it to whom does the gift belong?”
So, the simple takeaway is, don’t accept gifts__of insults and rebuke__that you don’t want! Conserve your energy, Just walk away….mindfully, peacefully…