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    Better Man

           After my morning meditation, my first interaction with a human being (other than myself) today went exactly like this:
           At my local Starbucks, I go to sit at one of those big four person tables, where there’s already one guy sitting. His big black bag is on the table, taking up half of it. As I go to sit diagonally across from him, I ask him, “Is that your bag?”. He says yes, but does not move the bag. He doesn’t even look up from his phone. So I gently nudge the bag over and say “Excuse me, I’m just going to make a little room for myself here”. He says that I should have asked him before I touched the bag. I respond, “You’re right, I apologize. And you could have just as easily moved the bag when it was apparent that I was going to sit down”. He shot back, really nasty, “You could sit somewhere else. Sit over there!”. “I don’t want to sit over there”, I said. “I’m choosing to sit here.” He then called me stupid and finished with a nice “Fuck you!”. When he realized I wasn’t going anywhere, he grabbed his bag to leave, and nudged my computer with it, saying “Oops!”.
           Now, there was a time in my life when I probably would have gotten into it with the guy. There was a time when such an interaction would color my world for a little while afterwards; maybe even for a long while afterwards. But today, I just smiled and said, “Have a good day”, and shot him a silent prayer. Because this guy is obviously fighting a hard battle on his inside. When I went to get my coffee, Greg and Scott, two of the really outstanding baristas at Starbucks, apologized to me, telling me that this was not the first time that this guy has caused a problem. I thanked them, and said “I’m sure I’m not the first, and I’m sure it’s not me.”
           The expression “Hurt people, hurt people” came to me this morning during my meditation. Meaning that the more we hurt on the inside, the more we hurt others with our words and actions. Especially if we are unaware or unconscious of this reality. Now, like everyone else on this planet, there are places inside of me that still hurt. I, like all of us, have places within that need healing. But I’m far more aware of my unhealed places these days. Moreover, I consciously attempt not to let those places run my behavior. I don’t always succeed, meaning that sometimes my residual pain still creates actions that hurt others. But I’m far more conscious of this dynamic. I’m more awake to it. I’m more awake, period. And I’m waking up more and more all the time. Because that’s the kind of life I want to live.
           I’m a better man these days.

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved. 


    Reader Comments (2)

    Clint, I have had a problem that I have been trying to work out in my head, why something in my life or I should say someone in my life is acting in a strange way. You solved it for me, by saying when someone hurts inside they want to hurt others,thank you. Wishing you we'll on your Journey, I always shoot prayers to people, especially sad looking people. Enjoy your weekend.

    August 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBea Flammia

    Bea, thank you. I'm so happy that my writing helped you. Isn't it amazing how a chance meeting on a train a few years ago can create a connection that helps us heal?

    August 18, 2014 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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