Taking a minute is very important. Avoiding making knee jerk reactions is key to a good life. I can speak to that on great authority since that’s an area I always have to work on.
During the scare for Irma I watched people freak out. True it is a very powerful storm and caution and alertness are critical when dealing with something like that. Especially when living in a highly populated area like Charleston.
There were a lot of false postings about the path of Irma which added to a sense of urgency. While I believe in being prepared and going through what you would need to take with you and where to go, people to contact, etc., it is also important to not jump to any conclusions. And to wait and see where the storm was tracking. For quite a while it was difficult to tell and the European model which seems to be the most reliable was tracking Northeast originally.
I think this is also a demonstration of how most of us operate in our daily world. We make snap judgements about things when it would be better and easier to get some more data before reaching a conclusion or making a judgement.
It also makes things a lot easier on your body and psyche. Going into a flight or fight pattern takes energy and reduces ability to make good decisions. Everything is focused on survival when that’s going on. Our ability to analyze is lost in that moment.
While we pride ourselves on being civilized and sophisticated about life, our very primitive survival mode is always close by and easily activated.
We saw that in the recent marches and public gatherings that turned ugly. The more we are aware of that part of ourselves the less it’s likely to take over unless we are in a real life or death situation. But even then we can respond better by remaining calm.
We have seen that survival part of us get activated when meetings, gatherings, interactions with authorities or people who think differently or are different from us go wrong and often results in tragedy.
The more we know ourselves, all of ourselves including the less attractive and un-noteworthy parts of ourselves that we wish weren’t there, the more we are free to act like the people we would like to be. Then we have a chance for creating a culture that is compassionate toward others and ourselves. And one in which we can choose how we react to occurrences in life and not be so quick to judge. To take time so we have a chance to really look at what is truly going on and then be able to make a conscious choice about how we want to respond.
We are all human and sometimes we don't behave as we should. The solution- forgive yourself, learn and make better choices next time. In the meantime an apology is in order.
My best to you,