Joe had a problem. Well, to be honest, most everybody else had a problem, but they tried like hell to make it Joe's problem! Since he had begun to simplify his life by one, not allowing things to get to him & two, by simply observing ( without judgement ) the actions of those around him, Joe had become somewhat of a pariah to certain people. Because he did not react to any given situation like THEY thought he should, Joe seemed to have become one of THOSE people, one who barely, if at all, registered on their collective radar. As it happened, Joe really didn't mind too much, as the energies of many of those 'certain' people did not match his own & quite frankly, bored the hell out of him!
It happened one day......................................Okay, this happened quite often; people seemed to enjoy getting in Joe's face. Before he learned not to instinctively act, to curb his Ego & to center himself before acting, Joe had been used to reacting to the actions of those around him, almost without thinking sometimes. After much 'trial & error', Joe realized that HE was the problem, not THEM. The more he reacted to their actions, which were often 'just' ( ? ) words, the more the perceived problem was exacerbated & more often than not, Joe ended up at ground level ( literally or figuratively ) looking up at both the sky & his 'accuser'! On this particular day, though, having figured at least this much out, Joe's 'accuser' had really backed him into a corner! Using Joe's 'simpleness', even accusing him of being a 'simpleton' ( or worse ) his accuser was not giving up so easily this time, determined to get a reaction out of him. As so often happened, when Joe simply responded with a smile & turned to walk away, he waited for the jolt from behind, which usually meant that his accused had fired off one last parting shot!
The shot that Joe had become so accustomed to never came. Joe never even turned around, in fact, he never even paused in his walking away, but he could feel the shift in energy behind him. This particular accuser had begun to understand as Joe was. Although this person still attempted to bother Joe every so often, they had begun to realize that, not only was Joe quickly losing interest, but it really wasn't as fun trying to get his goat as they had originally believed! As the days went by, this person made fewer & fewer attempts, till finally, Joe realized this 'energy had begun to change to the point where they could actually hold an intelligent conversation............................well, at least tolerate each other's company!
As Joe continued along his path, he began to notice that, strangely enough, it wasn't just this person or that one making fewer attempts to create problems for him! Of course, as he was figuring out ( he still had his 'issues' ), THEY weren't the ones creating the problems. The more he realized this & put that realization to the test, the more 'others' seemed to be realizing the same! Joe began to feel a calmness he had never known; not only was his life so much easier without the added stress of worrying about other people's actions, it would seem that he was spreading the joy!
The path that Joe had begun to ascend on WAS simple! Once he had learned that it was much better to observe without judgement, acting as he would without harming the other; Joe was able to live his life in relative peace. Oh, he still had his issues, don't get me wrong; 'every rose has its thorns', but overall, he was quickly learning that the more he practiced his new mantra, the more others were taking note & if not following suit, at least leaving him the fuck alone!
Joe was NOT a 'nice' guy! In fact, many people, meeting him for the first time thought him to be rather aloof, 'stand-offish', or even just plain 'a jerk'! Some even took his lack of pride, or Ego as something less than 'normal' ( whatever the hell that is! ), like he was a few sandwiches short of a picnic, so to speak. But those that knew him knew different! To know Joe was to love Him! He was not a saint ( whatever the hell that means! ), by any stretch of the imagination, but he knew enough not to respond in kind, unless it were kindness. Of course, he also knew enough not to count on that kindness, but he still practiced kindness wherever he went!
Getting to the moral of the Story, if Moral there be; be like Joe; 'spread that shit everywhere'! Even if you don't see an immediate return, keep at it! People may not, in fact, most likely WILL not, always return your kindness, but you WILL have planted a seed & with the right care, that seed will one day burst into new Life ( either that, or it will kill them )!
Namaste' & Blessed Be!
Charles Haddon Shank