The wife has come to the conclusion that there are three possible ways to deal with life outside the Zen temple of tranquility that is home:
1. Become an asshole like the rest of them,
2. Develop an immunity to it all and do your own thing whilst carefully avoiding conflict, or
3. Become a total recluse avoiding all possible contact with the outside world.
OK, last one first. Lets face it, as tempting as it may sometimes seem, being a hermit doesn't pay the bills. I have to go to work to earn the money to live and support my family, therefore dealing with the world is unfortunately a necessary evil.
Being an asshole like so many out there just goes against my very nature. I couldn't do it. If I treated people badly I'd torture myself with guilt. Besides if karma really exists, then I hope that eventually the world's assholes will get their comeuppance.
Which leaves developing an immunity to it all. So how can I do that? It sounds a bit far-fetched to me, but if I'm honest I'd have to say it's the most likely route.
First let's clarify the problem.
There is a growing number of people who are clearly out for themselves. They care only about what they want, and they're determined to achieve it no matter how many people they dump on or inconvenience or abuse along the way. On the road they're the Audi driving tailgating wankers who'll force you off the road if it means gaining 20 feet or half a second of roadspace. In a shop they'll push to the front in the mistaken belief they're more important than anyone else. On the street they're so wrapped up with their iphone that everyone has to get out of THEIR way or risk being trampled.These people are so vain and plastic, so desperate to conform to some bullshit ideal that any concept of having consideration of anyone but themselves is completely alien to them.
So how to deal with it? Well, clearly the gene pool is in need of a bit of a clean but that's hardly a realistic or morally ethical proposition. This leaves a personal change in mindset that enables you to allow other peoples negative behaviour to wash over you like water off a ducks back. I suppose this would require slipping into some sort of meditative state whenever you open the front door and step out into the world - one which still allows you full mental function and clarity to carry out tasks such as driving yet gives you a feeling of disconnection; mental armour if you like. A determination that no matter how objectionable or irrational another persons behaviour is, it bounces off you like bullets bounce off Superman.
Presumably practice is the only way to be able to do this effectively, so my task in the coming weeks, months, years, is to work on my mental armour until I can block out negative outside distractions, focus on an inner calm, and maybe I'll be better able to cope with the world around me instead of wanting to run away screaming.