7th August 2018
Without realising it, we tend to want to be understood before we are willing to try to understand the other person.
I had a problem with a bank over a property loan once. Unfortunately, the bank adopted a very bureaucratic approach to solving the problem. The situation was exacerbated by their aggressive and haughty tone.
I had a choice to make. I felt under attack. I could sense how their approach was hurting my ego, incensing me and goading me into retaliating. I reflected, however, that these feelings of egoic hurt are transitory and that a practical solution was more important than balancing the quota of hurt and retaliation.
Therefore, I spent time separating in my mind the tangible elements of the situation from the subtle emotional waves that could interfere with my thinking and my ability to communicate lucidly and powerfully.
One of the modern world’s challenges to ego management is time. Our use of modern technology makes us so reactive to events that we give ourselves too little time for reflection and meditation. We fail to appreciate that an orderly inner world produces a balanced and well-ordered outer world.
In the case of the bank I did two things. I gave myself the time to be introspective on the matter. I also acknowledged the pain my ego felt from the bruising approach of the bank. However, I refused to accept this ego as my true identity, and decided to act from a place of choice that I did not have to identify with the pain that my ego felt and, certainly, I did not have to act from this place.
We navigated through the problems, and the issues with the bank were fully resolved.