Most are familiar with the story of a young man who was rushing to a job interview. As he was driving, a car merged in front of him at a slower speed. Upset because he would certainly be late, he honked and yelled obscenities at the other driver. Much to his embarrassment when he arrived at the interview, they both realized that it was the hiring manager who had merged in front of him.
Whether or not you empathize with the young man, you can relate to the frustration in this scenario. When we are in stressful circumstances, we feel out of control and at the mercy of the actions of others. Our patience wears thin, thoughts become irrational and we most often blame others for the consequences of our actions.
We are not unfamiliar with stress. Living in today’s world is challenging. While we enjoy many conveniences and comforts, added to that are pressures unlike any other time in history.
So how is it possible to live with other humans and still have a respect for humanity? How is it possible to maintain civility and still progress?
The answer might be in how we perceive ourselves and others in our world. We have to remember that despite the trials and challenges we face as individuals, we as humans thrive best when we are respected, loved and appreciated. So, why not be kind?
Here are a few items to think of as we go about our day:
We are all trying to get somewhere
Stress and frustration can send us spiraling into negative thinking about ourselves and others. We just want to move forward, but there seems to be many obstacles in our way that prevent us from achieving our goals. It is in those times, that we can remind ourselves of the PUG principle. Patience, Understanding, and Gratitude.
When we practice PUG, we recognize that:
- We are all striving for something, so please, be patient–with ourselves and others.
- The reason we behave the way we do is based on a need we have (Understanding).
- In our quest forward, take notice of how far we’ve come and what we now have (Gratitude)
Respect for others
During stressful situations we tend to justify selfish behavior. We think of ourselves, often denying others the courtesy we expect. In that moment, to our detriment, we fail to remember the incredible elements of humanity that connect us together. We are unique amazing beings with strengths and contributions, whose existence continue to thrive and find ways to adapt.
Kindness for ourselves equals kindness for others
We can’t love someone else if we don’t love ourselves. Radical acts of kindness begin with how we love and are kind to ourselves. This can begin with giving ourselves an incredible amount of patience to learn about our needs and where they come from as well as showing ourselves gratitude and grace. Which gives us the space to show others grace.
The overall result of this internal reflection and pause to value everyone’s worth is an ever-evolving appreciation and respect for what we are capable of individually and even more so what we can accomplish in unity. So, in place of the negativity and frustration involved and emotional spend, why not be kind?