This Sunday morning there was an event at my local community center at 8:30 am. I had been looking forward to this event, but I also knew that I am not a morning person, so I was not fully committed to going. In the end I went, despite my less than favorable amount of sleep the night before.
When I was there, I noticed some people coming in after I had arrived. My mind immediately went to judging them for being late. “Look at me, I got here on time, they missed the first half-hour.” I also noted a child sitting in front of me continuously tapping his mother during the presentation. “Why is that kid annoying his mom like that?” I thought.
I obviously wasn’t proud of these judgments in my mind, it’s just that I have learned that observing one’s thoughts honestly is the first step toward mindful, and, subsequently, more compassionate living. I noticed how much I identified with my current reality: that I happened to have had the motivation to get up early to go to this event, despite having gone to bed far too late the night before; that I just as easily could have decided to sleep in.
Furthermore, all kids at some point or another tap their mother for her attention, it just happens to be at that moment, that child was doing it.
I realized how reducing my attachment to my perception of reality of that very moment allowed me greater objectivity; that all of us are human and have the capacity to do that very thing at one time or another, under certain circumstances. I felt a sense of universality, realizing that “he” or “she” is no different from “me.” That there are in fact a variety of versions for what my reality at that moment could have been. I am no better for my current situation.