Are there experiences or emotions you have that no one else has or will have? This is the question I pondered after a bout of road rage today. A man screamed at my daughter to hurry up as we were slowing down. She is just learning to drive and this sent her into a panic and me into protective mother hen state. How can he be so rude, why is he in such a hurry?
Road rage, or rage of any sort happens when we become disconnected from the world around us. It is a signal that we believe we are separate and more important than who we are directing our anger at. It is a skewed perspective that goes like this, the world isn’t meeting my needs and they are more important than yours.
Would it be possible that one day this man would be giving a driving lesson to his daughter, niece, friend? Probably. Yes, he will probably be in our shoes one day also. Quite likely he will share our experience.
Similarly when we had to get off the plane in Sydney and have our bags taken off I was recalling with shame a time I sat on the plane moaning, what is wrong with people, why are they holding the plane up, it couldn’t be too hard to get here on time, I got here on time etc etc. But here we were, holding up the plane now, stepping into the shoes of worldly shared experience. It can happen to you, it can happen to me, each of these experiences that drive us to impatience or anger, frustration or hurt.
If we step into the shoes of the world we can travel much further and with ease.
Practice for today: If you find that you get frustrated or annoyed, maybe even impatient with someone even at the supermarket check out remember, walking in the soles of others’ experience will temper your choice on how you act right then.