Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dealing with Anger and Making Progress

by B.F.

An inmate in federal prison, B. F. is one of the few people allowed to pursue higher education. He wrote this to me recently... Ven. Chodron

A few days ago, I was in my business management class, getting ready to take the final exam, when the woman next to me pointed out another person sitting in front of us, and said, "During the mid-term a few weeks ago, I saw her cheating, using some notes she had. That makes me so mad! Does it make you as mad as it makes me?"

"That's on her," I replied. "If I let every person sitting in the classroom 'make me mad,' I wouldn't have any time to learn anything. She's just cheating herself anyway." I paused and then continued, "After twelve years of being incarcerated, very little actually makes me really mad. I try not to give other people the power to make me mad. I'm the one who makes myself mad when I give someone else that power."

There was much more to the discussion, but I tried to point out, "Don't let things that other people do make you angry, especially if they aren't directed at you or don't an influence on your life. Yeah, the other girl cheated. So? Karma takes all into account, so the other person was creating the cause for her own unpleasant results."

The point of this story? I realized how much I've changed due to the Dharma.



Erik said...

I was away for the weekend with a couple of friend and there was this situation where I and one of my friends disagreed on a question. I was 100% sure that I knew the correct answer

How to approach situations where you are very certain that you have the right answer? The more I approach it with a "high profile attitude" the more I risk to lose if I eventually go wrong. Sort of why run fast? the faster I run the more will I get hurt when I hit the wall? But why risk things at all? Why put things to a peak? Is it always worth "believing" (not the be sure) rather than "knowing"?

I see myself as a very open minded person and now afterwards I feel sort of lost. Did the opening of the discussion render me to change side from openminded to a correctness fanatics? But I don´t know weather it was because I was wrong or if it was the cause of the way other people responded/handled my incorrectness. But as I wrote earlier, it might be in relation to my attutude in the beginning. But it isn´t actually my own incorrectness that worries me the most, it´s this line:

"I try not to give other people the power to make me mad"

What are your opinons about my thoughts?

dharmanoid said...

well..i don't exactly know the question asked so I can't be definite on my views.

but as far as I'm concerned. there's always many sides to a story and hence different answers to the same questions.

a same woman can be beautiful to a man but ugly to another. just like a religion can be a bless to another, while it's considered devil by another. The subject is still the same, but different interpretation yield different responds.

put yourself in his shoe perhaps, and you can see your friends correct answer