Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hard to keep one's cool

Question: (unedited)

Hello again, I'm back now for a 5th time I think. As I mentioned before I work as a paramedic, and encountered a difficult situation the other day. We were on our way to an emergency call, speeding through heavy traffic, and finally arrived at the scene of an accident. We jumped out of the ambulance to the patient's side only to be confronted with the patient's angry wife who yelled at us for taking to long to get there. I rudely snapped back that "we got here as quick as we could, now back off!". Of course I know she was just frustrated/scared, and I understand that, but I guess sometimes my ego gets defensive before I even have a chance to assess the situation with wisdom. In this case, even though snapping at her I'm sure spread some bad karma, I feel that by getting her out of the way quickly we were able to do our job quicker. So my question is this: What would buddha have done?

My comment:
Hi , I am very happy that you are back, not the 5th., but the 6th time! Your job must be a very stressful one. One thing I can assure you is that it is a very wholesome and spiritually rewarding job. Where else can you find a job that saves lives and getting paid for it?

You must understand that we are just ordinary mortals subject to emotional outburst, especially when confronted by rude and aggressive abuses. The fact that we can realize this fault when we commit one, is itself an achievement in our practice of Buddhism. At least we are now aware of our shortcoming, and we take steps to reduce the incidence of this happening again. You must remember that you are on a journey along this spiritual path. You have not reached the destination yet. So, along the way when you make "mistakes" please remember that you are progressing along this journey of wisdom. Do not treat these lapses as failures or faults, but treat them as lessons learned. Then you will find your journey enjoyable, despite a few potholes and flat tyres.

On a more practical side, and as a reinforcement in your practice, perhaps you can take a courageous move to apologize to the wife. Wait till you see her response! It will be worth your while. Please let me know.

Do not let the notion of bad kamma control your life too much. Concentrate on what is wholesome and pure; and good kamma will take its course. As for your last question, of course the Buddha would have remained in equanimity. Please keep in touch. It's a pleasure sharing comments with you.


A true Malaysian said...

I am of the view that we do things not directly because for the purpose of accumulating good karma. So long as we do things on clear conscience and not on ulterior motive, that will be good enough.

Let our actions determine our destiny in life. Life is like a flowing stream, am I right, Justin?

Justin Choo said...

A true malaysian,

Spot on.

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