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August 25, 2005

Breadth of mind to wait for a second

Recently, I often see people who cannot wait for a second in Japan.

For example, at a red light. Even when the light is still red, many people start to cross at the crosswalk. I watch them carefully. And usually, after one or two seconds, the signal turns green. If they are not in hurry, this shows that they do not have breadth of mind.

When you feel the urge to pass someone on a narrow road, if you stop for a second and let the traffic work itself out, you will not feel the need to overtake others. However, people cannot wait for a second, and try to go through first and overtake others.

As people board the train (especially in Tokyo and Osaka), many people cannot wait a few minutes and rush to get on the train. Then, they may find themselves warned by station attendant.

When driving, if there is a car that wants to merge with the main line of traffic, you can wait for a second and let them in. However, many people cannot wait for a second and follow the car in front very closely, thereby preventing anyone from merging.

When listening to others talk, you should just listen, before you say what you want to say. But if you find others’ talk pointless, you often can’t wait for them to finish, cut them short, and then start to talk about yourself.

Have you ever seen people who cannot wait for a second in daily life? How about yourself?

Everyone has their own rhythm. And we act on our own rhythm unconsciously. If things do not go smoothly in tune with our own rhythm, we feel stress.

"Wait for a second" means to change our own rhythm. If we cannot control our mind by ourselves, we chafe, and then demand that others act according to our own rhythm. Sometimes, even when we try to fall into step with others, the others' mind resists this and things do not go well.

If we calm our mind in our one point, we can be up to the conditions even if we have to change own rhythm. In other words, we can have breadth of mind a little. This breadth of mind is very important. And it changes communication dramatically.

Some people are naturally placid. So when we deal with these people, we may not have breadth of mind that we would like. Sometimes, I do not have breadth of mind. Therefore, I check my state of my mind first to see if I can wait for a second or not in my daily life.

I will talk about what I experienced last week.

Last week, the super express train was very late because of a signal failure. I was standing in line to buy a train ticket from the automatic ticket machine. A man who was behind me seemed in a rush. Therefore, I asked the man, “Are you in hurry?”

He said that his train was leaving in five minutes. I realized that I had some time, so I let him go first. This is one of the good examples.

On the other hand, I had to warn a person on my staff because the person was careless in their work.

The staff person started to make an excuse. I yelled at the person immediately to stop making excuses. As a result, the person turned his back, and it took much more effort for him to realize his mistake.

When I first gave him the warning, if I had breadth of mind and listened his full response, it would not have required such an effort on both of our parts. This is bad example of how to be emotional and without breadth of mind.

Mind itself has no color or shape. We cannot see mind. However, “Mind moves body”. Therefore, our state of mind reflects the state of our body. We can know the state of mind through our body.

Let’s check our own state of mind in our daily life.

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