Posted by: sistermom1 | January 5, 2011

Meeting New People

The other day, my mother shared something with me that I have decided to make  a significant part of my plan for the year: 

Treat everyone you meet as if it is their last day on earth and they do not know it.

I am going to try it and see what happens as a result.  Interacting with others (everyone!) in a way that truly honors who they are – even those who I may never see again – is definitely something that I have not consciously done before.  It will require me to be conscious about the way I spend my day — every moment of it.  In my buddhist practice, one of the things that I am learning is that every person has a buddha nature — an inherently positive, powerful and wise place in their life that is all-knowing and capable of leading them to accomplish great things.  Most don’t know or believe that about themselves.  Treating everyone I meet as if I know that this is their last day on earth and they don’t know it, would require me to actively honor their inherent buddha nature – regardless of how we interact.

Because I am basically considered homebound, I must include the people I talk to on the phone in the definition of “the people I meet”.   This will push me beyond my comfort zone, as I typically do not really think about the people I interact with on the phone.  Who they are and how our interaction will impact them has never been a concern of mine in the past.  I am now thinking more about how I am coming across as I relate to the people with whom I interact.  I am praying to connect with each one’s buddha nature, as well as to activate my own with each exchange I am blessed enough to have. 

There are many challenges presented by this determination.  What if I am just too tired to be polite to the cable guy, or if a student answering the phone at my son’s high school cuts me off three times when transferring me, or even what if my daughter has a stomach ache and cannot go to school (again) while my husband has back-to-back conference calls?

Well all of these things happened today, and I am proud to tell you that I successfully navigated through each situation while honoring my promise about how I will interact with everyone.  (Chanting for an hour with friends today probably had something to do with it — I’m just saying….)  It was a great way to launch this promise and this new year — maybe you can try it too.  If you do, let me know how it goes!

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Responses

  1. linda, lorraine mentioned your blog to me…so thank you for sending me the link in your recent email. i’m loving your reflections. so powerful and thoughtful! i don’t know even half of your journey, girl. i’m learning so much about what you’ve been through – and continue to deal with in your health challenges. life is so very unpredictable…and only the strongest survive and thrive, as you are clearly doing. more power to you, my sister. i am so thankful that we had some time together this holiday and that i was able to see you and to be blessed by your mother’s presence and wisdom. she is BEAUTIFUL! …and so are you! much love to you and family this New Year. hugs, celeste

  2. Linda, I want to actually incorporate more chanting in my rituals this year. Thanks for the mention and of course, for another powerful blog post. I’ll also seek to treat others in an honorable way, as if today, this moment, is their last. Hugs and blessings.

    • Lorraine,
      Thank you for always checking out my blog. I really appreciate your support! Anytime you want to talk more about chanting, just let me know. You can also check it our further on http://www.sgi-usa.org

  3. Just a quick note to say that I really appreciate your blog, as you often give me something positive to think about. I love this idea about how to treat others. It goes a little beyond the ‘golden rule’ and like you say, is about honoring the goodness in everyone. I am going to try to incorporate this into my life as well. Thanks for the idea!


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