Oh the irony.
So, I am on my way home from delivering my Grudgeology workshop in London. It has been well received, I’m going to be home within the hour and all is well. I then become aware that we have come to a standstill, the train has stopped.
“Look, there’s some kids out there!” shouts a passenger, and there they are, just up on the embankment on the left.
There’s an announcement from the train conductor. We’re going to be delayed because of trespassers on the track. And that is all it takes for my own Grudge gland to kick in, and I’m off.
“Worthless pesky trespassing scum” is what I am thinking to myself (edited). Now I’m going to be late because you losers have got nothing better to do than play on train tracks. How frikking selfish can you be.
I’m feeling mean, irritated. My stress is rising.
I then have a “physician, heal thyself” moment. I think back to the course I have just taught.
1. Do not take offence. Of course, idiot. I am choosing to be offended by these children’s games. Why? Relax. It’s Friday evening. Go and get a beer from the canteen.
2. Take responsibility for your feelings. Another good lesson. I allow myself to be ashamed for a brief moment about my thoughts for these (very young) children. That’s not on. Where’s the curiousity? As soon as I’m curious, I am not feeling the grudge. You cannot do it. You cannot be curious and mean.
3. Don’t tell grudge stories. As I walk through a couple of carriages to get a beer, the seats are full of similarly indignant, righteous and delayed passengers, stirring each other up. It is clearly not helping anyone.
I’m feeling much more at ease with the situation as I pay for my beer and sit back down.
There’s another announcement.
“Ladies and gentleman, we’re going to be here for another ten minutes or so. The good news is that a couple of the trespassers have been arrested…” A cheer goes up and the conversations change. People are now fantasising about retribution and revenge.
“Hah, it’ll be the escorted drive home to their parents for them…”
“I hope they get what they deserve…”
Worse of all “I would have driven the train straight through them” Sir, these are children!
I sip on my beer. These grudges that we can all fall into do not serve us well at all and it is so hard to resist them. We have to make conscious decisions to do so, but these are decisions that once we know, then we can take them really quite easily.