I once heard a motivational speaker tell a story about when he was on an airplane and a 5 year old child was just making all sorts of racket. He was right next to the speaker so he was getting very annoyed. What annoyed him most was the way his mother obviously heard the noise and yet chose to ignore the problem. After a long time, the speaker spoke to the mother and said, “Pardon me ma’am but can you please control your son?” She replied by explaining how sorry she was. She had just found out the boy’s father had died and she couldn’t think of a way to tell him.
This produced what they call a “paradigm shift.” It makes the bad behavior seem acceptable and changes the way one perceives a given situation. I try to stay open to having these shifts. An example is the way the dogs near me have been barking at all hours of the night. I’ve been so angry at their owners and wished they would do something about it. I actually dd go over and talk to one of the home owners. His story was understandable. The uncle had left the dogs there and said he would come back and he never did. The dogs came up to my son and licked his hand. they were sweet dogs, albeit extremely loud. Since that meeting there has been very little barking. In a sense, I got a paradigm shift being open to it. When I feel angry at someone or a group of people, I need to remember a paradigm shift could turn my anger around.