If we are busy and somebody appears to be rude to us the natural response is to be defensive, closedown, and possibly return the rudeness, justifying our actions based on what we receive.
Several days ago I was in a cafe queue behind two people, they paid for their drinks and waited for the change, upon receipt one of them snatched the receipt off the server, their friend looked at them and enquired, ‘why they did that?’, they responded by saying, ‘she was so rude to us, so why not?!’.
When we are training our mind in meditation if we engage in the practice know as Mindful Mind which I detail in Chapter Four of Guide to the Mindful Way of Life, we cultivate the ability to step back from the flow of thoughts in our mind. This ability gives us the potential not to need to immediately react to the circumstances that we are caught up in and provides us with the mental freedom to choose how we respond.
With the Mindful Mind practice, we can choose which thoughts we entertain. Just because we are on the receiving end of somebodies rude action doesn’t mean that we need to return the favour.
It becomes easier to respond with a positive approach if we can see the situation in perspective.
We can think to ourself: ‘I am going to stop the cycle of negativity in my life by responding to this situation with patience’.
If we can be patient, we can even help the person that is being rude as we do not inflame the situation.
We help ourself as we do not allow our mind to become negative, and consequently, we don’t then have to be influenced by this state through the day.
We move our mind and actions in a different direction, meaning that the pattern of cause and effect (karma) in our life takes a new course – meaning we are less likely to be on the receiving end of such actions in the future, and if we are, we have a new habit and response.