Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Thoughtful And Considered Response

Sometimes you hear people says things like, "He didn't react quick enough to the situation" or "She totally overreacted to what happened". These types of reactions come from our gut. I know because my personality type is a "gut type". Sometimes I react to situations quickly and from the gut without thinking first. It's not all bad. I can get really excited about a sunrise or a sunset and have an immediate and emotional response to the beauty. I can also quickly overreact to something that doesn't please me or I don't like. Later, after settling down a bit and processing it through my head, I can be more accepting. Like most things in life, passion has its pros and cons. What I try to do in my life is have the more Zen Buddhist approach to situations. For me this means a thoughtful and considered response rather than a reaction to events or situations. When something happens I try to breathe first and then respond. This does not come naturally to me and it is a discipline I am still trying to master. In so much of my life, whether it is my personal life or my working life, I am either responding emotionally and reactively or I am surrounded by others doing it. So often we are all so upset about everything. We live in an unhealthy tension created by overly emotional reactions to life. I am not sure at what point everything in life became urgent and critical. Is it really or does it just seem that way because of the way we deal with it? What ever happened to just dealing with things instead of freaking out all the time? The stress and the tension we create for ourselves because of unhealthy ways of reacting to life saps us of the energy that could be directed towards creative solutions to life's challenges. In 56 years of living s I have experienced very little that was truly urgent or critical. Most of my life experiences that have been less than enjoyable were, at best, inconvenient or annoying. I have yet to witness the world stop spinning or the sun not rising. Life will go on at his own momentum in spite of our reactions to it. I am not in denial that sometimes life has it's critical moments that require action and immediacy. However, not every moment of every day meets this criteria. Let's all relax and strive to bring some calmness to the chaos that most of us often feel in our lives. I challenge all of us, when we are tempted to have a knee jerk response to anything, to breathe for a minute and respond in a thoughtful and considered manner. Try it. I hope it's contagious.

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