I have read the famous paradigm shift story – a man on the tube on a Sunday morning with the children running around and disturbing everyone. The writer was angry and said “Sir, can you please caution your children?” To which the dad replied – totally oblivious to all that was happening around him – “I am sorry, we are just coming from the hospital, they just lost their mum”!
Instantly, the writer’s emotion and reaction changed from anger to empathy.
Recently, I had a very interesting experience. It was an unusually warm autumn evening, I pulled in into a filling station for fuel. I grabbed the nozzle and was almost through with my fueling when I heard the honking of the horn from a car a few pumps away.
Who will be using their horn around here, why now?
I was startled, surprised and miffed at the honking. I looked over my shoulders with a mixture of wonder and irritation – we are not in London where the horn goes off 2 seconds after the light turns green. And there were no black cabs around…
To my amazement, I saw a 4-5 year old boy behind the wheels of a people carrier. Obviously the parent (driver) had gone into the store to pay for the fuel, as such, there were 3 kids left alone in the vehicle.
The first honking was probably a mistake but once the boy realised what he could do behind the wheels, he honked again, looked at his siblings, laughed out loud, raised his hand in enjoyment of what wonders he was performing.
I do not know what exactly was going on in the car with the 3 kids but all of a sudden, the boy literarily sat on the horn and let it run for as long as he could.
Typically, it would have been a prolonged state of anger plus irritation if the person honking was an adult. But amazingly, I found myself smiling in wonder of what this boy was doing.
Obviously, it was not the noise pollution I was enjoying. Rather, it was more of sharing in the boy’s amazement. He was visibly enjoying the magic he just discovered how to perform.
To everybody else, it was annoying. However, I found myself change from the feeling of irritation to amusement in seconds.
As I left the filling station, it occurred to me that, I have control over how I feel, the situation not withstanding.
Was it because it was a boy and not an adult that I was not irritated? Next time an adult is messing up, can I see a boy behind the situation and will that give me a paradigm shift?
It is really not the situation but our interpretation of it…
Picture source: hittheroadrob.blogspot.com