Why Was He Whispering to the Dalai Lama? How Rude!
I was so excited to see the Dalai Lama in person in Madison, Wi! I’d been learning about how he wasn’t just the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism but was also a strong advocate for combining science with the study of compassion, forgiveness, and happiness. This event included not only his Holiness, but one of my favorite scientists, Prof. Richard Davidson, and Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post.
I was intently watching and listening as they each introduced themselves and Prof. Davidson began the discussion. I couldn’t help but notice another person sitting next to the Dalai Lama who was constantly whispering in his ear. My immediate thought was, “How rude!” It became a distraction for me as my mind whirled with thoughts like, “That guy is being so disrespectful!” “Why doesn’t someone stop him?”
Then it hit me; I suddenly realized the guy whispering was a translator!! I had to laugh at myself as I realized how I had jumped to the worst conclusion without considering other possibilities. Now that I understood that he was there to help, his whispering no longer bothered me, and I was able to focus on the fantastic messages being shared on the stage.
It was truly an inspiring experience I will never forget. But it was also a reminder that I can easily judge others and jump to the worst conclusion. As I slowly get better at noticing when this happens, there are times I actually have to laugh. A common example is my thought of “Who took my keys?” when I can’t find them. I know I’m the one who misplaced them, but my mind seems to jump to a different conclusion.
Have you ever jumped to the worst conclusion, only to find out later there was a good explanation? One of our human abilities is to quickly assess situations based on past experiences. We make assumptions very quickly so we can take action if needed. Of course, our strong survival instinct wants to keep us safe, so it encourages us to assume the worst.
This week, see if you can catch yourself jumping to conclusions, especially related to other people’s behavior. Are there any situations worth a laugh?