I was riding my scooter today a bit further than I did during the past few weeks since the season has started. First, I went to a meeting. Easter weekend is ahead of us, there was much traffic even around noon and I was trying to get there in time, so I drove a bit faster and not ‘by the book’ - indian style:). So, when a man in the car shouted something at me (thank God for the helmet – didn't hear him) I pictured him in Indian traffic and laughed. Why was he stressing? Not for a second had I put anyone in danger.
Afterwards, I took a ride across town to meet some friends. On my way back I started to hear some horrible noise in the motor, stopped right away and called my mechanic. He said I should come, that it will be ok if I drove really really slow. So, I went back on the road, but this time I was too slow for the drivers around me so they were honking. Not like in India to let you know they are behind or they are turning, but to show their disagreement with your existence. So I went up on the bicycle path and, yes, annoyed more people.
But, I made it and my mechanic was happy to see me, and I to see him! Driving too fast or ‘reckless’ – no good. Driving too slow – no good. Not to mention that nobody stopped and offered help.
So, this story today made me wonder why is it that people are more stressed than ever and so intolerant to others. Sometimes even mean. From where does this intolerance toward other human beings come from? This judgement against anyone and anything that is different than what you consider to be 'normal'. The answer that came up was – fear.
Fear is something I have been pondering about since I came back from India. How it seems to me people live in it constantly here. So much more than in the East. And so much so that it has become a ‘normal’ state. No trust, no faith, no love - just fear. I'd love to live in a world where there is more tolerance and understanding, where people will first start to understand you before they judge you, where people are friends and not enemies, where people are truthful and where people live from the heart, trust life, and do not live in constant fear. I'm not saying India is that place, but I can say that we can learn so many things from them. Faith is one of them. Faith in life.
Fear makes us stressed as we are constantly trying to control our lives and everything around us (including traffic) in order not to lose something we need, love or hold dear. Fear makes us believe everything different than 'our way' is bad or wrong.
Buddhism teaches us that it’s attachment that creates suffering. And I believe it does so trough fear. But, there is only one thing we should be afraid of losing – and that is our Self and our Soul. Our heart, our integrity and authenticity. The problem is, while trying to hold on to that man, woman, position, salary, name, fame, beauty, youth, while trying to hold on to something that was never ours, being someone that we never were – we lose all that really matters. Our humanity. Fear is Ego's favourite child. It is his perfect little solider. The one that proved itself best at hiding the truth, at hiding love, at hiding heart.
So, ‘’what to do’’ - my Indian friends would ask.:) Try not to let fear control your life. To control your body, mind, heart and your soul. And how to do that? I believe that the answer to all the problems of our human existence is always the same. LOVE. As the lyrics of one of my favorite Morcheeba songs say: ''fear can stop you loving, love can stop the fear''.
Live from the heart. And trust life.