There’s something a friend said to me about 12 years ago. It struck me at the time – mostly as being complete bullshit. But since then I’ve heard it a million times (so how the first time was the first confounds me) and I have a visceral reaction each time. (Ditto those insufferable “Keep Calm” messages.)
People do the best they can.
I honestly can’t think of two people about whom that is true.
I think most people do the least they can. They don’t use turn signals (that falls way beneath the “best they can.”). They don’t say thank you. They don’t watch where they’re walking. They text while they drive. All of these are the LEAST people could be doing. They don’t play music at reasonable levels. They lie. They cheat. My internet connection is down almost as much as it’s up. Time Warner could spend 10 centers to move the percentage a little farther in my favor.
The issue for me is more complex. This all used to drive me up a wall. When I began my practice, my agitation at this kind of stuff didn’t go away exactly – but it had the wind taken from its sails.
Now that I’m back on practice and things are already turning around, I’m going to work on this again. I don’t think I’m capable of this kind of compassion. I doubt I’ll ever believe people do the best they can. But I can try to calm the fuck down