What if you committed to goodwill?
Friday, bereft of sleep – having been on the road for a while changing time zones twice – and running on reserves (which I do not recommend) I had to make it through a trying day. What now? I thought, as I clambered into my clothes in readiness for the office.
‘Thank god the scruffy look is in’ I mused, opting not to drag the razor over my two-day-old stubble and shuffling out the door.
On the short yet beautiful drive to the office I settled into the zone. The dulcet tones of the BBC World News permeated my semi-consciousness as I drove up and down the winding pass to the office noticing rocks that had recently fallen, tree branches just inches from the road thanks to the excess rains of late and the beauty of a still morning with the sun still some 25 degrees from its ultimate peak.
Life was good.
Somehow the sleep deprivation and emptiness pulled me into that place where I could only consciously keep my mind on the road twisting and testing as it is. I had no time for thoughts about meetings and calls and work, just the notion of arriving alive and being a good driver along the way.
That space – that ability to let everything go but the task immediately in front of me – gave me the room to let a feeling settle in. Everything in that moment was good. “Nothing is wrong with this moment” as Eckhardt Tollé would say.
That openness made me want to continue in the feeling, to propel the zone and maintain the Zenness of just being.
‘What if I approached my whole day from a stance of goodwill?’ I thought. What if I just offered goodwill to every interaction – every exchange – I had all day? I set a goal.
Happily I can report that most of my time with others, in person or on the phone, was positive that day. Even the ones that began neutral soon turned the corner and both parties left the moment feeling better. Feeling human.
Yet it wasn’t too long before a test – reality – reared its head.
Sometime around 10 am – the day just beginning for most of my peers – a client called and dropped the F-bomb 5-7 times in the first sentence or two. He was not fucking happy.
I listened. I heard. I acknowleged.
I did not agree.
But I kept talking, kept listening, kept the lines open. And a remarkable thing happened. In the space of less than 15 minutes we went from me serving as punching bag (fuck this, fuck that, fuck you) to an understanding: I’m here to help. What do you need?
Now, and in that moment, I did not feel anger or rage. I felt nothing: he wasn’t mad at me. He was mad. I simply stayed with him and helped to the degree that I could offering no less – or more – than I would offer to anyone needing help. And in that 15 minutes his pain washed away. He joined me in looking for a solution.
My day went about like that. A long one to be sure as some of my mates did not make it in, and yet, I stayed in the zone. Stayed open, non-judgmental, oriented to help.
No, I am not any better or more evolved than you. I am not special and I have ups and downs like anyone. But I can commit.
So can you.
Commit to goodwill, kindness, understanding.
Commit, and watch the world become a better place, right before your eyes.