The walker who laughed at A, B and C

Imagine this scenario.

You are the person (A) standing on the side walk, waiting for your friend. A walker passing by laughs at you and quietly goes ahead. You are surprised. You look at your dress and find it OK. You pull out a small hand mirror from your hand bag and look at your face. Nothing wrong. You are puzzled, offended and angry at the walker. Why did he laugh at me? What is wrong with me? Thoughts are racing in your mind. But you can do nothing but keep watching the walker moving ahead.

A few yards ahead, there is another person (B) standing on the side walk. As the walker goes past  (B), he laughs at (B) also.  You find absolutely nothing about (B) to laugh at. You are less worried and more curious now. What is going on here?

A few yards ahead there is another person (C) standing on the side walk. The walker looks at (C) and laughs like he laughed at you and (B). You find nothing wrong with (C). What would you think now? You won’t be worried any more at the behavior of the walker and its impact on your own self because it is now very clear that he is crazy. How did you make this great discovery? By making a reality check when the walker laughed at you, at B and C. By continuing to watch the walker’s behavior when you found it unusual. By not immediately berating yourself when the walker cast a doubt on you.

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  • I made up the above story in the year 2000, when a senior colleagues in my maintenance department came to my room with a serious complaint about the insulting behavior of the Production manager who was senior in rank. That manager was in the habit of talking down in an irritating manner to the managers of the maintenance department, in the daily production meeting. After hearing the story, my colleague cooled down, smiled and looked totally relieved of his stress.
  • After 11 years, in 2011,  I repeated the same story to a woman attending my follow up classes, to overcome her stress at work due to the bad behavior of her boss. He was often verbally abusive, not only with her but with all her coworkers in the office, even in the presence of visitors. She was on the point of an emotional break down. After hearing this story, she was immediately relieved. Though she knew that the problem is with her boss and not with her or any of her coworkers, she was feeling miserable. To make the healing message of this story support her in the office, I crumpled up a small colored paper and placed on my head, and spoke to her abusively, acting like her boss. I said the bug sitting on top of my head is making me behave abusively not only with her but with every one in the office, A, B, C and D.  I asked her to keep the crumpled paper on her desk every day and frequently look at it. It would remind her throughout the day, that her boss has a bug on his head and there is nothing wrong with her. When she came after a week for the next class, she said that looking at the the symbol of the bug on her table was helping her remain cool when her boss was acting crazy and blaming her for no reason or an insignificant reason. Her coworkers who did not know what the crumpled paper meant for her, told her to throw away the trash paper sitting on her table. But she kept smiling and ignored them.
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