I went shopping to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday, and a security guard attempted to correct a guy who clearly didn’t know how to avoid suffering. He wasn’t wearing a facemask so he brought on more pain!
The enraged customer shouted out, “it’s a hoax, COVID-19 is a hoax.” The store was calm and orderly. He was emotional and out of control. Onlookers (me) could tell he had pent up anger that arose from the depths. He had been carrying this ‘pollution’ around. With a little imagination, you could picture him at home shouting at the TV, fuming.
To me, this was someone hijacked with a mind full and zero degrees of mindfulness. He couldn’t see himself. His mental executive functions like rational thinking, composure, and intelligent strategy were overrun by reactivity.
How to avoid suffering, analyzing this situation is instructive
Does it matter if you believe COVID-19 is a hoax? Does your thinking change anything? Or does it help you in any way?
Is it intelligent to clutch, cling to and feed thoughts of disbelief or disagreement?
The guy was escorted out of the store empty-handed. He left even more enraged than when he arrived.
It didn’t appear to anyone that he was satisfied, fulfilled, or content.
Rigidity and reactivity
How many times have we made challenging situations worse through interpretation, rigidity, and reactivity?
For me, it’s too many times to mention, I’ve suffered enough. That’s why for more than a decade, I’ve made every effort to improve.
- Pay attention. Does TV news provide an education or is it just information requiring more intelligent in-depth research?
- Rather than adopting the idea of a ‘hoax,’ get curious. Curiosity leads to awareness. Awareness leads to insight and, from that place of increased life knowledge or wisdom you realize rigidity and reactivity are not serving you well.
- Remember, things are as they are. When you resist how the world is, you invite suffering.
- Small efforts matter, work to decrease ‘pollution’ suffering, tension, and pain and, feel yourself become happier in the process.
- I approach life as though what I don’t know is greater than what I do know and try to use each day to close the gap.
When I forget and become mindless, discomfort reminds me. The best way to shrink the ‘what I don’t know gap’ is to use mental executive functions to override reactivity and remain open, fluid, and adaptable.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. –Buddha