I was sitting in the flight going to India this summer. I tried to sleep when the flights lights turned off, as I was quite tired, but I couldn’t. Some seats nearby, there were two men with dastaar completely drunk. They were singing loudly and making a lot of noise. I was embarrassed and hurt. What image are they creating of Sikhs? No one can sleep in this noise.
This was my first immediate reaction. Then I started thinking – “What will I get by bringing negative thoughts in my mind? Will my negative thoughts change them?” and “Everyone makes mistakes, but change as they learn lessons from life. Everyone has the potential to change”. As I realized that by my negative thinking nothing is going to change, I started to think what I can do to avoid my negative thinking pattern in this situation. What can I do instead of criticizing the other person? It is his/her life, I don’t have any control of their life.
My solution to this situation was to instead of focusing on criticizing the other person for what he/she is doing, I should focus my attention on doing ardaas (pray) for the benefit of the other person. This way I will get positive thoughts in my mind, and I will not blame or criticize the other person. I did it in the flight, and I am continuing to do it since. For me it’s working – my focus is more positive towards other people now. They are in their own path of life, I can only pray that they will abandon all their vices and adopt virtues.
I am just sharing my solution to this problem. Maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t, but whenever you encounter a situation where negative thoughts arise, you can reflect upon how YOU can change the way to think about the situation.
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