Today’s observance got off to a bad start due to a escalating series of angry exchanges my wife and I had as we readied the kids to leave. In short, I was left to do the nightly routine the preceding night and do the lion’s share of the morning preparations because she was working late-all of which was completely fine. The problems began when my wife took note of a number of things that I had done “wrong.”
I will be the first to admit that, when it comes to childcraft, I am in need of remedial training but the way in which I was berated and upbraided for failure after failure struck me as particularly harsh and unwarranted. In the end, I allowed myself to give in to my anger and responded in kind, disappointing myself and making a mockery of my practice.
So, why am I even writing this? Do I want sympathy? Do I want to vent? No, the reason why I wanted to document this morning was to point out for myself not only the importance of restraint when confronted with harsh speech but to remind myself that, when the roles are reversed, such behavior is never justified. The fact that she was justified in her concerns about my failings has too often served (in my mind) as an excuse for her speech. But, the mind being the impressionable child that it is needs to know that such behavior is unacceptable regardless of the justification.
In short, we both acted badly today and I should strive to see clearly that unskillful behavior is unskilful regardless of who is doing it.