Traffic was heavy and backed up for over a mile. There was construction up ahead and the right lane was closed. Most people had already started merging into the left lane about a quarter mile from the closure. All, that is, except one car that swerved into the extreme right shoulder in an attempt to get as far ahead as possible before merging.
What do you expect was the response of the drivers who sat patiently in the left lane, of which I was one?
Pure anger! Who does this guy think he is, trying to get ahead of the rest of us who’ve been waiting in this line?
And this anger translated into tactical obstruction. One by one, the cars in the left lane formed such a tight front-to-back convoy intentionally preventing this rogue driver from entering the left-lane flow. I imagine each driver scowled at the dissident upon passing.
Eventually one safer driver allowed a slight gap in the procession thereby enabling the culprit to squeeze in and rush off.
Why is it that we get angry in such – and similar – situations? Is it because our sense of fairness has been violated and we feel justified in retribution?
Consider this scenario.
A young child is playing a game on his iPad in the park. Another child comes along asking if she can play with it. The boy says no and ignores the girl.
If this was your child, would you say to him, “That was the right thing to do – if you shared it with her, then you wouldn’t have been able to play – you tell that little girl that it’s only fair if she gets her own iPad?”
Of course not.
You would probably say something like, “Honey, let that little girl have a turn with your iPad. When you give out of compassion and kindness, you cultivate pearls of joy.”
When we choose a mindset of “this is my iPad and you can’t play with it” or “this is my space on the highway and you can’t have it” then we are sowing seeds of discontent. We become impudent little children in cars, selfishly claiming our rights.
The idea that a driver not waiting his turn can translate into an affront to our sense of wellbeing is really quite silly.
Beware the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated. The belief you are is but another form of the idea you are deprived by someone not yourself. You have no enemy except yourself. (T-26.X.3;4)
Likewise, the idea that fairness and retribution go hand-in-hand is equally insane from the perspective of oneness. As we read in A Course in Miracles, “Fairness and vengeance are impossible, for each one contradicts the other and denies that it is real.”
Join us in Monday’s class where we will discuss this concept of fairness and what it looks like to truly see our brother through the eyes of the spirit. I look forward to seeing you then.