I Identified with a guy at a meeting once who called himself "King Baby." I have this image of myself dressed in a diaper, sitting up in my adult highchair banging on the fold-down table with my spoon, demanding that life give me everything I want and wailing when I didn't get it right away. Fortunately King baby makes only rare appearances these days, but he stills shows up every once in a while. I'm no saint.
It was a beautiful, sunny day here in Shanghai. As is my habit I was
walking to the noon meeting feeling pretty good. Then an electric
motor scooter came up behind me on the sidewalk and the driver began
incessantly beeping at me get out of his way. Since I didn't hear him
coming, it startled me. I turned around to face him, and still
blocking his way, I glared at him and barked "be careful!" in Chinese.
(I would have said "get off the f**king sidewalk", but I don't know
the words ) He was totally expressionless and when I stepped aside he
drove on down the sidewalk beeping at the next person ahead of him.
People ride their motor scooters on the sidewalks here all the time.
It's an accepted part of the culture. But this was ME he was beeping
at. How dare he ride on MY sidewalk beeping at ME?
The voices in my head told me someone had to be punished. So I blamed
the motor scooter driver, the Chinese culture that allows this
abhorrent behavior and all Chinese people for their numerous crimes
against civility. The jury in my head found them all guilty, every
single one of them. I began to glare at all the Chinese people I
passed as I continued on.
But I couldn't keep it up for long before I realized that I was the
one who is suffering, not them. I had made a quick trip from heaven to
hell. I went from having a nice day to having a crappy day. One more
time I had given away my serenity to people, places and things that
didn't follow my script. My peace of mind was shot.
It says in our book that God is either everything or else He is
nothing. If I choose everything, then all people, places and things
are all God, even the so-called bad people, the bad places and the bad
things. Whenever I have a demand that a person, place or thing be in
any way different from what it is, I am arguing with God about the way
Life should be. I'm coming to believe that every time I argue with God
(reality) I lose, but only every time.
Today I can still give away my serenity when people, places and things
don't follow my script, but the time I'm willing to spend in hell is
becoming less and less.