Are you finding yourself negatively affected by actions of people around you? Do you feel limited by your environment? Are you striving for something that no one else seems to understand?
One of the greatest obstacles to your own personal enlightenment is having your mental energy entangled in everyone else’s drama and issues – you eventually become worn down and frustrated by peoples’ actions (or lack of), their lack of self-awareness, and their infectious attitudes.
You are the people you spend the most time with – or rather you are unknowingly influenced by them, even sometimes when you think you are being careful. If you are surrounded by emotionally and spiritually immature people, you can easily get bogged down in their inconsiderate, rude, offensive, unambitious and otherwise harmful behaviours.
Instead of letting it knowingly or unknowingly eat you up inside, rob your ambition and motivation for life, we should strive to look upon everyone else’s bad actions for what they are – the actions of those who are morally handicapped.
Anger and frustration are two particularly insidious forms of self-harm that limit your potential impact and reduce your motivation. These often arise from the behaviour of those around us who are not consciously trying to improve themselves.
If you are not able to reduce time spent around these individuals – such as family or work, perhaps it is time you look upon the situation differently.
Epictetus, the Stoic philosopher, argued that you would not be angry at a blind person for being blind, yet if they were blind in the most important trait – that of distinguishing right from wrong and good from bad – we would condemn them as a bad person. If someone stole from you, you would feel hurt and angry at them. However, the hurt you feel is from your attachment to a material external object, which is down to you, and if the offender doesn’t know good from bad, they are hardly to be envied.
By judging them, we create an emotional attachment to the person or event and we only end up harming ourselves. This is the manner in which much of our energy and zest for life drains away from us. So let us go forth and detach ourselves from the negative events that come our way by remembering that we ourselves are doing our best to advance in thought and reflection, whilst most aren’t even aware of what they are missing out on.
An emotional response prevents ourselves from benefiting from the perceived “bad” situation – we fail to notice a lesson to be learnt and an opportunity to withstand fortune and grow shall be missed.