A week or so ago, the other half and I were in the car on a long drive to Sheffield and on the radio we had Radio 1. Putting aside the fact that I might well be too old for Radio 1 these days, what I heard really bothered me.
They were broadcasting a feature, a play on words, called Rage Against the Answer Machine. The general premise being that listeners could call a particular number and rant away to an answer machine about whatever it was that was bothering them. The ‘best’ bits were then played out on the show.
There was so much aggravation and rage in what I was hearing that I had to catch myself for a second, wondering whether it was for real. What on earth are we doing I thought, feeding people with all this unnecessary angst and bitterness.
Everyone showcased sounded so…entitled, as though the world and its dog owed them in some way. It actually made me feel a little nauseous.
One particular caller ranted on about people who put their grocery bag on spare seats on the bus, going on and on for what felt like ages about the awfulness of it all, and how much of an affront it was to them and their civil liberties. The way they were talking you’d have thought it was a discussion about…well lets just say something far more important.
How about, I thought, if you politely asked them to move the bag – no doubt they’d oblige and you might even spark a conversation with them. So instead of vomiting all of this rage at the world, you’d have instead made a positive contribution and connected with a fellow human being.
Just stop for a second, I found myself thinking, and consider how judgemental and antisocial you sound. Not to mention what unbelievable negativity you must be exuding.
Imagine if you focused this energy more positively. Valued the person next to you as much as you appear to value yourself. Remembered that ultimately we’re all cut from the same cloth, just in different guises having lived different lives. And recognised that you are worth no more than they.
If only you understood the principles of karma I thought – where every act has a consequence. Then you might realise that in contributing so negatively to the world you are no doubt actually forcing the world to deliver negatively for you.