“Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.”
~The Desiderata (by Max Ehrmann).
One of the things I’m becoming less tolerant of as I age, and certainly from a spiritual perspective, is noise. Am I the only one who doesn’t like Harley Davidson’s roaring down the road? I think if you’re going to ride such a classy, attractive (and even pleasant-sounding) motorbike, why not ride it with class and style instead of being a hoon. I can respect someone who makes noise more in sync with people’s spirits.
Now, this is a lesson in tolerance for me. You know the deal; I point the finger and there’s three remaining fingers pointing back at me. Complaints reveal lack. That sort of lack is never really anyone else’s fault but our own. I must learn to tolerate the vexations better.
It does reveal a good case in point though. We don’t have to go out of our way to spend time with loud, aggressive people.
Spiritual harmony is a choice in life. If we decide for it, well then we deserve to get it, especially if we’re going to put our money, effort and time towards it.
And yet again, harmony occurs as much between the ears and in our heart space as it does anywhere else. We have to take personal responsibility for it.
The main point I want to make about harmony, however, is how important (and even how comparatively rare) harmony is in the midst of relationships. If we’re going to seek to be peacemakers then we’re seeking harmonious relationships—at home, work, in the community... everywhere. Though it’s often not that simple achieving same. It’s a condition that can’t be taken for granted.
Conflict still happens. Even when we want only the best and most harmonious relationship outcomes, and even if we’re not contributing to conflict, it can still occur. We can be left feeling absolutely and surreally cheated as something blows up in our faces—yet we can be at harmony within. And we need to be.
Relational harmony is a tricky business, simply because there are factors well beyond our control. All we can do in seeking harmony is avoid interactions with aggressive people, and even design a life where they do not exist (as far as that’s achievable) to disrupt our peace.
The trouble with aggressive people is they tend to bring out of us submissive behaviour—both aggression and submission are responses to fear. No one’s going to enjoy that sort of rapport.
How harmonious is your life in comparison to the effort for harmony that you’re putting in? Are you reaping the outcomes of harmony you deserve? Is it time to start designing your life so loud, aggressive people can’t spoil your hard-fought-for harmony? This might even involve people who’re very close to us.
What do we need to accept? What are we prepared to accept?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.