What I Learned from a Bumper-Sticker

If you’re reading this you know that life is full of learning opportunities.  Lessons are given in a beautifully-constructed way if you pay attention.  I had an unexpected realization the other day.  Ironically it happened while I was driving to a downtown spiritually-based meeting.  I found myself in Austin’s typical noontime traffic.  I tend to people-watch in traffic to see what state of being they’re in. As I was observing, I noticed a bumper-sticker on an older-model black pickup truck in front of me. Let me warn you before you read this – it’s probably going hit you with negative energy.  The bumper sticker read, “This truck is protected by a pit-bull with aids.”

I was disgusted.  How un-compassionate!  I told myself it wasn’t surprising to find such a sentiment on “an old black truck”.   And when I passed the truck I’m sure I gave the young male driver a look of scorn.  I judged him to be very un-enlightened and therefore the kind of person I avoid. It wasn’t until I was sitting in my meeting, about 30 minutes later that I got the lesson – the  light-bulb came on. 

The lesson was —

I had reacted to this person’s expression of hate and fear from the same mind-set that he had when he placed his bumper sticker on his truck. 

That mind-set is the ego-mind.  It is borne from separateness and fear.  And reacting from my ego, I did what the ego excels in – judging and punishing.  I wanted to hurt that driver in some way just as he wanted to hurt anyone that messed with his truck.  And both his and my action were fundamentally the same – we were reacting from fear and separateness.

The world is populated with egos.  And hard as it at times, facing an ego with light and compassion rather than with another ego reaction is the way to bring peace and one-ness into the world.  Instead of my judgment about how awful and obviously UN-enlightened the driver was, I could have offered him love and understanding and connected with him rather than separated myself from him.  After all, don’t we all share varying degrees of the fear of being robbed?  And don’t we all get a feeling of security (albeit misplaced) from our stuff? 

So I could have accessed Spirit rather than ego and given him what I need too – compassion, love, understanding and connection.  And we can all choose to connect to the whole and to Spirit the next time we meet an ego.  We can be the change we want to see in world.  We just need to pause and remember Who We Really Are.

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