It’s all becoming so crystal clear… People do not listen to one another. The practice has become a lost art form. And, the consequences of not listening can be deadly.
Today, I decided to go out and pick up some lunch at one of the Halal food carts outside my job. The cart is owned by a very nice Middleastern man, who comments on my smile everytime I go there. Shortly after I ordered an African man approaches and orders food. This should be a simple story but, it isn’t.
There was a misunderstanding where the Middleasternc man, mistook the African man talking aloud to himself as talking to him. He then shhed the African man, who in turn got angry. Then the next thing you know, they are both angry. In a blink of an eye, they were ready to start swinging! And, so, I interrupted. I said that both of them were overreacting, they needed to calm down, and understand that they both are having a bad day. Hell, given the economy, most of us are having a tough time of it.
I was able to get the Middleastern man to calm down. Not so much with the African man. He felt that the shh had been disrespectful and was boiling over… Finally, he left. And, bought nothing. Here’s the thing… People never get angry over nothing. So, I asked the Middleastern man what was really wrong. It turns out, that while he was earning a living, his daughter was in brain surgery. –It’s not good for men to feel powerless, they sometimes don’t know how to express they’re vulnerability so it comes out as anger. He goes on to say that the African man was lucky, as his cousin in the coffee cart down the street would’ve helped him beat up the guy. I said, “No. You’re lucky.” He asked why. I said, “Because with your daughter in surgery, the last thing she needs is for her father to be in jail!” He took a deep break, lowered his head…and agreed. He gave me a discount on my food, said I was a good lady, and that I help people. (See??? Some people know what’s up. Heehee.)
The African man, as it turns out, is a security guard in the building I work in. I went inside and I tried to speak with him. I explained the Middleastern man’s state of mind, and hoped he’d find compassion. WRONG! In fact, this guy worked himself up into being angry again! Saying that he knew his rights, etc. and that guy had disrespected him. When he left, I thought to myself that he had anger management issues, and there was no way he’d be a security guard in my building for very long. Seriously, you want to fight because you were disrespected???!!! For real?! That’s not a requirement of people, but, more importantly, that shouldn’t affect how you feel about yourself.
The truth is, we CANNOT make someone respect us. And, anger misplaced and misdirected can kill! My mom called me today to tell me that a assistant manager I worked with when I was in highschool had been arrested on murder charges!!!! That very same guy and I almost got into a fist-fight when I was 16 yrs old! He used to get into arguments with a lot of people, and was arrogant beyond belief. Apparently, he was having issue with property lines and a neighbor who was in his 70s. And, now he, a father of six, is in jail. And, it doesn’t look good.
Your ego unchecked is your biggest enemy! It will blind you to truth, it will make you deaf to the plight of others, and it will rob you of compassion! It will keep you separated from the whole that is all of us! Since it is a given that we cannot truly control one another, the planet, or the universe–the best we can do is harmonize. And, we do that by relating to the things around us. It’s not enough to engage people if you aren’t going to listen to them. It’s not enough to be in nature, if you don’t realize you are apart of it. What was… is no longer enough. We have to evolve as a species, we have to learn it’s not about the individual, but, the individual’s place as part of the whole.
Love Peace Happiness N One,
Since I posted this blog yesterday, I had a chance to speak with the African security guard again. His anger yesterday was based in the fact that his mother died in Africa 15 days ago… Although he’d like to go home to be with his family and grieve, he cannot. He also was recently robbed of his I.D. and Passport. So… I’ll stick by what I said before… When we lose it on a stranger….rarely is it about the incident itself, but, misdirected anger.
Seriously…we’ve got to relearn listening… It’s becoming paramount.