©2022 Michael Raven
Today seemed all about people having a chip on their shoulder and daring me to knock it off, whether it was online bluster, shoppers at a store I visited after working, family members, or drivers on the road. Everyone seemed a bit frustrated with something or another and I felt like they were taking aim at me because I seemed like the kind of person who might react in a way that would satisfy them.
And I might have at any other time, just gone and flicked that jagged wood chip flying and get into a match of verbal jousting, or a flipped bird, or a snarky comment to the effect of: “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize this store was you own personal fiefdom; I’ll just get out of royalty’s way, right?”
But, you see… I’m tired of taking the bait. I’m absolutely and utterly bored with the idea of putting someone in their place or retaliating in an overt manner. I know I’m not the only one decrying the lack of civility these days — I’ve heard plenty of other people mention something to that effect. Hell, all you have to do is look to see what the latest Karen (male or female) has done to get booted off an airplane to know that there is something rotten in a civilization that can’t be bothered to be civil to one another on a fucking airplane for a few hours.
Today, I decided I was bored with that game and wasn’t going to play into people’s dramafests, narcissistic behaviors, and tribal rudeness (however one paints themselves as, I don’t much care). I’m ignoring people when I can, being nice in response to their rudeness, etc. I’m tired of the never-ending rage, so I’m refusing to directly interact in a combative manner with people. I am practicing being the tall bamboo forest — yielding and reflecting/redirecting energy in response to the tempest in a fury around me. For some reason I feel I need to return to the idea of wu wei (“To always to act in accordance with the patterns of things as they exist” as described by Alan Watts, who may have said it best) as I prepare for my trip in the next few days and beyond. I think that I will be served well in the coming days by reintroducing such concepts back into my practice as I walk down my the path opening before me. I think I may need those tools more than I suspect.
It’s an intuitive feeling — I can’t quite put my finger on why I think to “be water, my friend” (Bruce Lee) will be important, but it seems immensely important as far as my intuitive mind is concerned. Because it seems vital to recall this concept, I will put the thought front and center in my thinking, even before runes (my current obsession), although it is unlikely anyone will know it aside from this post here.
Do a little self-care folks, let the river flow around you. Have no fucks left when someone tries to rile you. Be water for the day. I know that I will be trying to capture that in my own life.