We go through life a lot of the time very unaware of our surroundings. Walking down the street or interacting with the cashier at the grocery store, we are generally just going through the motions and not acknowledging what is around us. People have feelings, and we ourselves have feelings. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to be 50yrs old and finally realizing that I haven’t been aware my whole life. I’m a generally aware person, paying attention to other people and their reactions and lifestyles, but I encounter a majority of people who are not aware of their surroundings at all. Why is that?
Everybody’s lives revolve in their own head; what they believe is their own life and experiences. We can’t assume that they are being rude when really they are only unaware of things around them. Is that selfish? Maybe. But how would they know any better if they don’t realize themselves that they are unaware? I think it takes an eye-opening experience to understand that you yourself are unaware. In the same way that people don’t know what pain really is until they have experienced it, and in the way that people don’t really know how to truly live until they know death. Not have died, but have experienced a death or a near death. Life is so unbelievably awesome and we don’t understand it until we experience it.
I want to bring to your attention that people who you think are being rude, may not actually think that’s what they are doing. Even this morning, at my hostel in Dublin, one of the people in my room got up at first light (5am) and proceeded to pack all of his stuff up in the center of the room, hitting the bed frames and not paying attention at all to how loud he was. Now, I thought about it for a little bit because I wasn’t sure if I should peak around my curtain and say, “Uhm, excuse me… are you serious right now?” But then I thought, ‘I don’t think this man is actually trying to be rude, I think he is genuinely unaware.’ And with that in mind I could smile and feel at peace and just wait it out.
Why does that make me feel any better? Because he doesn’t know. How can I possibly be mad at somebody who doesn’t know? Should people have common sense? Yes. But who am I to know how they have grown up and what their life experiences are? I got to look at it this way – I was awake early; more time to explore the city; and I got to have another moment practicing peace.
Life is uncomfortable, but learning peace in the discomfort can be an incredible experience. I’m not worried about losing two hours of sleep, because there is no point in being upset and something that happened. It happened, and now it is my goal to find peace in it.
I love getting to practice what I preach, it reminds me of the journey that I am on to always be better. When I am not growing in myself, I feel more dead than ever.
Growing, learning, experiencing life; all change who you are and the life you will continue to lead. Find peace in the moments that you could be frustrated in. Have grace for people who are unaware and understand that they need help in that area, just as you need help in another. We are all learning and growing in life, let’s be patient with where other people are at in their process.
With love, Makari Asriel