Home > Life, Philosophy > On Daily Inconveniences

On Daily Inconveniences

Thought Catalog recently posted an interesting article about how we use morality to justify our resentment towards people who inconvenience us. I agree that kind of behaviour isn’t beneficial.

The author even implies that the only person negatively affected by that kind of self-righteous behaviour is oneself. For example if a car cuts in front of me when I’m on my way to work, I could get angry at the driver. As a result, I might take out my frustrations at other coworkers and my productivity might decrease for that day. I end up going about the rest of my day feeling angry while the driver goes about his day without a care in the world. All that just because I believe it is morally right for me to be entitled to the space in front of my car.

Not everyone who uses those moral arguments seem to be self-righteous though. I believe that many times, we get angry simply because of our natural me-first attitude, that our immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities. Like what the author mentioned, writing a book explaining why it is ethically wrong to cut in front of other people or to show up late isn’t going to improve the quality of your life. Learning how to react to these inconveniences will since we are going to encounter them on a regular basis for the rest of our lives. It starts with thinking differently because it’s not really about morality.

How other people act is their karma. How you react is your karma.

EDIT: A friend shared this quote shortly after I posted this entry:

By choosing your thoughts, and by selecting which emotional currents you will release and which you will reinforce, you determine the quality of your Light. You determine the effects that you will have upon others, and the nature of the experiences of your life. – Gary Zukav

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Categories: Life, Philosophy
  1. November 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I think you have a very good handle on how to live a good life. Your analogy about allowing your anger at some trivial event like being cut off in traffic color the rest of your day, illustrates the point that so many people don’t understand: Patience and forgiveness are not about them — they are about you. Your own peace. Your own contentment. If you allow anger to cloud your thinking, you not only are more likely to act like a jerk (and thus make others’ lives miserable) but you make yourself miserable. It is your own mental health that profits when you learn to let go of anger.

    Morality ought to be about what maximizes human flourishing and minimizes suffering. Compassion helps us to identify what is going to accomplish those ends. But that’s another post.

    • November 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I agree that patience and forgiveness are about your own well-being. Perhaps people will realize that life isn’t so short after all if they don’t learn how to deal with their anger in a healthy manner.

      I did blog about compassion too! 🙂

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