In my life, focusing on the faults of others is always a reminder to look inwards. For when I’m struggling with myself, I start to look outwards for easier targets! My article on creeping clutter was triggered by catching myself wishing my wife would clean up the kitchen.
There is a lot of anger in the world outside my home. Even inside, the minds of preschoolers are churning with strong emotions.
I’ve been able to modify my own sources of greed, envy and anger. I do this through awareness of three truths:
- We’ve already won
- We have more than we need
- I don’t need to be right, I want to be at peace
When I see the truth in these mantras, I remove the seeds of greed, anger and envy. If these seeds grow then we can end up disgraced, or in prison. Theft, fraud, infidelity, anger and unhappiness have their root in a desire for more.
As I roll through my day, I am on the lookout for examples of how we’ve won, how we have more than we need and how serenity benefits the family.
A friend observed that having the opportunity to argue shows how lucky we are. Debate is a sign of affluence. When faced with an argument, he sees a person that is lucky to have the time to make themselves unhappy!
From the outside, it can appear that I spend a lot of time focused on the risk of negative outcomes. However, from the inside, I find it helpful to remember that my time is limited. To my family, I say…
Whatever happens, remember this – I had a fantastic life and loved you very much.
What’s your family mantra?