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No doubt you’ve seen someone throw litter on the ground, and continue walking along.
A littering “event” happened to me, as I was eating on the patio of a restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. It was a quiet day and a great time to observe people as they passed by. One man, crossing the street in lazy conversation with a friend, pulled the lid off of his drink and tossed it on the ground in front of me.
“How careless! How ignorant of him! What a jerk!” My internal seething began.
But wait! We Lightworkers are enlightened beings! We rise above petty judgments and harsh thoughts about our fellow man!
A lifetime went by in three of his steps on the sidewalk. I gazed in agony at the jettisoned lid on the ground in front of me. I glared at the man, who glanced over to see my iron stare.
“Are you going to pick that up?” I asked.
“You pick it up,” he laughed, and without missing a stride, he and his friend walked away.
I fumed in silence.
There it sat. Dozens of people walked past it, some even casting glances at it as they did. But no one picked it up.
Perhaps litter is part of your natural habitat, where you are. The litter, in this case, isn’t the focus of this discussion. The real question is, what do you do when someone’s beliefs about reality are so vastly different than yours that they incite your anger?
In his reality, his actions were justified. Littering is OK.
In my reality, his actions were not. Littering is not OK.
Whose reality is correct? One in which littering is acceptable, or one in which it is not?
The answer: Both are correct. Both are valid. Both have a place here on Earth.
Learning to share the game board with others living in completely different realities is one of the biggest lessons we’ve come here to encounter. This is the framework of unity.
So how is life different when all realities are considered valid?
This is where you get to define yourself. In times like this, you get to observe your reactions to this little diversity test, and you get to figure out who you will be.
Do you admonish the person?
Do you silently seethe?
Do you judge?
Do you pick up the litter?
You may do all of the above as I did. I picked up the lid, and I walked a few feet to the trash can to throw it out.
Situations such as these are valuable reminders that others’ beliefs are simply their view of reality, and they have a right to share this world with you. You may not like their behavior, and yet by observing your reactions to it, you are constantly redesigning yourself, and integrating all of the different You’s back into the whole.
Are you afraid of doing the wrong thing? Angry at yourself for your judgments? Consider being kinder to everyone involved, especially yourself. You never make mistakes. You only create opportunities for expansion with every action you take.
Your reactions are your choice, always. So no matter what your decision, it is valid and purposeful for your growth.
So next time you are challenged to act on behavior you find inappropriate, ask yourself if it’s worth it to take that old, worn-out path. Instead, try a new path. Shrug it off as their experience, their world, of which you got a short glimpse. Your experience and your world can be vastly different. The world is large enough for all of humanity to coexist; when we take that approach, then “trash” will lose all of its meaning.