The universe gave me a strong reminder and a lesson today. And it came in the form of a cab driver.
I was on the cab home with a friend and the cab driver was rushing to change shift. He was annoyed that we had to go to two places with close proximity and he flared up and exploded even when we didn’t insist. And he shouted loudly on and on about how passengers expect too much and such. His major reactions were shockingly rude as it was unjustified.
I took down his details determined to fire off an e-mail like i always used to when there was bad service in any places. And i know i’ll get my cab refunded for sure. I felt he mishandled us. I felt right, i felt sure. I was going to get him for this.
And as i did my grocery shopping something was amiss. I felt something uncomfortable within. I felt something uneasy was gnawing within. “He was an asshole”, a thought came in. “You are going to do the right thing”, another thought came in. “He deserves whats coming for him”, yet another thought.
And then something, a stronger presence within stepped in, and all thoughts dissolved. And i felt, for the first time, for him as a human, as a fellow brother, as a wife’s husband, a family’s father. Ego faded away. The desire to be right, the desire to attack him, the desire for revenge started fading away.
With one last fight, a thought “No what are you doing, this case is different, he was ridiculously rude to you, of course you have to get back at him, of course you have to tell the company. Of course you’ll get your money refunded, and thats a good thing. You’ll show him thats not the way to treat anyone”; and then the humanness of us all arose and all thoughts, ego dissolved.
A deep presence within stepped up and said, “He’s a brother. And he is the way he is, at that moment, because he doesn’t know how else to be, otherwise he would not be that. He may have had a nasty day. He may have a lot on his plate, on his shoulders. And most of all, every situation gives us two option, an act of love or an act of fear. Everything in essence, only boils down to these options. You can be ‘right’ or you can be love. Because every action is either a call of love or a cry for love. His was a cry for love. The only reason he is so tough, temperamental and hard is because there’s a lack of love somewhere. And if you fired off that e-mail you won’t help him in any way, it’d just generate more anger and hatred in him. But a bit of tenderness, a bit of compliment, a bit of heart-lifting will help him. And it will ripple through him to touch others around him. You have a choice, and a responsibility, and you’ll have to live with the results.”
I took everything i wanted to write in the e-mail and reversed it all into compliments and sent it off. I made sure to note for him to be promptly recognized and commended and for this message to be conveyed to him. It’s going to be the last thing he expects, but it’s going to fill his heart with a little more tenderness, a little more love, that much i know.
“What we do unto others we do unto ourselves” we often hear this. But there’s something more important than this that people don’t tell you. The reverse of it functions as well. Whatever we do to ourselves we do to others. People are hard on others because they’re hard on themselves.
If you want to help or serve the world in any way, just simply, be gentle with yourself. Always.