Do you like how the world around you makes you feel?
We create our beliefs about the world from our experiences, but they don’t need to be permanent. How quickly can we change? Consider the following story:
- You are riding on a busy bus. Sitting next to you are a couple of rowdy, uncontrolled, obnoxious kids. Their father is sitting there, clearly inattentive, letting them bounce around and make a lot of noise. They just can’t keep quiet or sit still… and are distracting everyone on the bus – others are eying the kids and sending annoyed glances to the father. What’s wrong with him? Why can’t he do something about his children. He is acting really inconsiderate and ought to be thrown off the bus. What a horrible father.
That’s a reasonable interpretation, right? Are you annoyed at this guy?
- One of your fellow passengers has had enough. He gets up, walks over to the father and says, “Sir, you have to do something about your kids. They are distracting everybody on this bus Please calm them down.” To which the father replies, “I’m so sorry… we are just coming from the hospital… their mother just passed away… it was all so sudden… I don’t know what I’m going to do without her…”
What happens to your interpretation? Are you still annoyed?
Remember: You never have all the information. Even if you did, you still choose how you react.
Do you like how you choose to feel about the world around you?