During a fascinating conversion with Michael Gerharz, we found ourselves exploring a few means we use to make sure we can avoid happiness.
Expecting others to see us just like we want to be seen. When we forget that others may not know as much about ourselves as we do, we are bound to be disappointed whenever they assume something about us.
Assuming that words don’t need to be seen with nuance or in a context. When we hope that words will never hurt or challenge us, we will find ourselves at a loss of being able to understand the meaning of something others are sharing with us.
Hoping that we can live our day-to-day undisturbed. These last months have taught us, that making plans can be challenging. However, the need to change plans has always been part of daily life. There is impermanence in everything we do, if we make a problem out of it, we end up with a sense of losing control of our life.
Focusing on experiencing harmony, happiness, or safety. While they are part of life, they are neither instant results nor can they be a constant. We would not be able to experience either of them wouldn’t conflicts, sadness, anger or uncertainty also be a part of life. It is our fluency in moving from one to the other that matters.
Paying attention to other people’s success. There is no reason to believe that people who only show their successful or happy moments will not also experience setbacks. Comparing ourselves with others has the drawback, that we will always either make ourselves happy or give ourselves a sense of failure. It disconnects us from our own reality.
It all makes Michael’s work so important. Through his work, he helps speakers see the world from the perspective his audience has. Which probably is the best way to teach tolerance.