I had to go take care of a traffic ticket today at a precinct office – not a favorite task, but I try to take a flexible approach to life and see situations from different perspectives. It’s very challenging to do this with some things, but it works well with many others. The Dalai Lama called this having a “supple mind.” If we fully realize (and practice) our ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, we become liberated from entrenched ways of thinking.
So, in this instance, I tried to see that the drive wasn’t a bad one – it was only 2 miles out of my way. I didn’t have to wait long – only one person was in line in front of me at the office. I had a nice chat with the woman processing my ticket. And then, my favorite part happened. As I was leaving, a middle aged man was getting out of his truck. Although I didn’t know him, he greeted with me with a very warm, “Howdy!” and gave a broad smile. I returned in kind and just tried to soak up the moment. If I had not had to go by the precinct office, I would not have experienced that moment…which continues to stick with me.
There are so many situations in life that drag us down needlessly. Sure, there are legitimate tragedies in life, but we so often let the little things get under our skin. We let these tarnish what could be bright moments. As you practice seeing things from different perspectives…and realizing this capability is within you…you will eliminate a lot of needless suffering in your daily life and add joy. You can’t put a price on that.