Much of my time these days has been spent in the so-called workaday world, just like everyone else. I’ve been realizing that being at the office doesn’t bother me as much as I think it would, even if I would often prefer to be doing something else.
Today I was particularly struck by the negativity, the pent-up anger and resentment, of many colleagues. Some people indulge to a great extent in these emotions, fueling anger with anger, resentment with resentment, bitterness with bitterness. Some bad-mouth colleagues, bosses, neighbors, groups of foreigners… Others, meanwhile, tend to function in a perpetual attitude of irony and cynicism.
It makes you dizzy sometimes. How to act/react in such an environment?
I am aware of the temptation to join in the harmful banter. I make an effort not to do so when I feel myself drawn in. Then I just listen. I remind myself of the origins of these sufferings – the pain of not being seen and not seeing – which I recognize from my own experience.
I come across this quote from Bernie Glassman: “Never feel guilty for what you are not doing; there’s a helluva lot you’re not doing. It’s like going into a garden and blaming a sunflower for not being a rose. Praise and love yourself for what you are doing, even if it’s sweeping the streets.”
This is what’s called peacemaking, with oneself and with others.