Last night I got into a heated argument with a group of teenagers walking down my block who decided it would be fun to throw half empty bottles at the apartment buildings. I was with my kids and although I don’t believe that were necessarily in danger the bottle did unexpectedly ricochet off the wall and bounce towards us.
I won’t get into the details but suffice it to say that I lost restraint and ended up calling the one kid who did it “stupid.” There were threats and all that good stuff but eventually I had to get my kids in our building and get my phone to call the cops. I did and, of course, since this is NYC nothing came of it. But, after it was all over I was left with a heavy, poisoned heart.
The unwritten rule in the city is to let people do whatever they want for fear they might end up harming you for intervening. Unfortunately, I have proven myself immune to this sentiment time and again. I saw what was happening in mind the moment I accepted the course of anger and more that it had everything to do with my ego and serve of self. These kids were in MY neighborhood, making a mess and endangering MY kids’ safety and I am not the kind of man who would stand for it. So, that was the line of thinking that got me to a place where anger took over and good sense and restraint departed.
I resolve to be extra careful in the future with these stuff but I’m amazed at how quickly even contemplating the situation in order to better understand and forgive brings me to a place of hostility. All last night and this morning I’ve been wording through my feelings of guilt, aversion and anger and I keep getting caught in the sticky for of ego driven hostility.
My aversion to the aversion itself seems to be the problem here because I keep reaching for it to pick it up so I can put it down. When I see it that way it’s no wonder that I can’t work with it. Now that I’ve recognized the unskillful way I handled the situation, and forgiveness of the boy (mentally) and forgiven myself I think the best thing to do is to let it cool off and return to it later. As disturbing as it was, it has been a great lesson and teaching showing me just how much there is to be done.