Certain mornings about 6.30am to almost 8am, sometimes earlier, I will be woken up by my neighbor playing the Chinese oldies. My bedroom window is located only few meters from her kitchen. I’ve never been a fan of Chinese oldies- like songs from 50s or 60s.
When I was a student years ago, I used to have a quick temper and would often get really annoyed when this neighbor played music, or watch TV (at one time they had a TV placed right at the kitchen as they did a lot of cooking and baking). The volume would be so loud that I was not able to concentrate on the studies at hand. One or twice, I had shouted in Cantonese, “Oui hello!!! Turn your volume lower, be considerate a bit! Got people trying to study here!”.
But now, being older and more mellowed, this does not get to me anymore. Instead, I silently thank this neighbor for helping me to fulfill my aspiration of trying to be an early riser. I try to do some short meditation during the start of the day and if I do not wake up early enough, I cannot beat her to the music- I remember a few times I was sitting cross legged and was just in a relaxed meditation mood- and suddenly the music sang by singers who sang woefully about missing someone or being dumped drifted to the air. Now, I aim to get up earlier than her J.
Therefore, it goes to say that in most situations, there are always different ways of looking at it. Depends on our attitude- do we look at something unpleasant at hand and turn it to our advantage? Or do we curse and swear whenever life deals us some lemons?
If we curse and swear, strangely, more lemons will be handed to us. If we try to change the situation to our advantage, it may help us develop more positive traits or make us more resilient. Like when people scold or are mean to us (we can never run away from such people from appearing in our lives), if we give an eye for an eye, it only brings us down to their level. It took me a long time to really understand that we never really win if we are bent over on getting even or to take revenge. Revenge may be sweet at first but in the aftermath, bitterness, anger or hurt will linger- in the end, no one’s the winner.
Furthermore, when we constantly talk bad or belittle other people behind their backs, but show a nice front when we see the person, if the person that we are complaining to is matured, he/she will view us with caution. After all, wouldn’t you be wary if you meet with a back stabber or the office gossiper? Don’t you feel the need to constantly watch your back especially when being around him or her? If we do want others to trust us, we must give others the confidence that we are trustworthy instead of being slaves to our moods and temperament.