22 Jul 2007

A wet fish swifty applied to the chops!

Blimey, I wish I had trusted my instincts and not contributed a moaning meme (it's not your fault Jessica but you'll see below why it wasn't such a great idea...) negative thoughts can be so destructive and I have gone and proved it AGAIN in such a graphic way!

I have understandably upset my blogging pal JoJo, and I never wanted to do that! She is a passionate motorbike rider and to generalise my negative thoughts to cover all bikers past, present and future was in hindsight crass and stupid. JoJo, I apologise. I am human, I get annoyed, but I have have put tremendous effort into reducing my negative outlook and reactions - I should read my own posts more often it seems to remind me what I am trying to do here!

The one slightly positive aspect of the whole 'moaning meme' saga is that it reminded me of why I am where I am.

I began to get serious about my weight loss when I began to get serious about the other aspect of my life that was in crisis - my spirituality.

I am where I am because of a spicy cocktail of Spike Milligan* and HH the Dalai Lama (well...sort of). I read a lot of Spikes books in my teens and some of the great Milligan imagery has stuck in my mind.

One of the most vivid memories is a passage in one of his later memoirs dealing with his well documented PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) during the latter stages of WWII whilst stationed in Italy.

Trust me, there really is a point to this!

Spike was struggling to deal with the harsh noises of war (that's why they used to call it shell-shock in WWI) and he had a particular hatred of the low flying fighter planes (both Allied and German) that 'buzzed' his army camp from time to time.

He took to yelling at the pilots expressing the sincere hope that they would "bl***y well crash and die!". This diversion to his day pleased him greatly until the inevitable happened and after yelling at one unlucky British pilot, the plane crashed near the camp killing the poor pilot.

Spike was immediately racked with guilt and blamed himself (quite irrationally as you'll appreciate) for the pilots fiery death.

And now to the point.....

A few months ago I was travelling through a large city in the UK and witnessed some unusually impatient road-craft from a 'gentleman' on a very high powered Japanese motorbike. Once he had dispatched me into the distance with a shake of the fist for daring to impede his hundred mile an hour qualifying lap, I came across another of his kind who obviously fancied a challenge as he set off in hot pursuit of the other rider. My well-worn reaction to these types of encounter is, in finest Spike Milligan fashion, to hope they "bl***y well crash and die!"...

Like Spike, eventually you know it had to happen....As I crested the brow of a hill about 30 seconds after my negative thoughts, a number of cars were slowing in front of me and as I came to a halt I could see in front of the cars a clearly terribly injured (and obviously unconscious) motorcyclist lying in the road with his bike almost implausibly far up the road..I felt sick. My son was asleep in the back of the car during all this. A number of people were offering assistance and calling for an ambulance on mobile phones, so I maneuvered around the obstacles and carried on my way.

I have seen accidents before and usually shrugged them off in my certainty that they were stupid and 'asked for it'...but this was significantly different. I easily rationalised that I did not cause the accident even if I had wanted it to happen but I felt deeply shocked by it nevertheless - for some reason, this was a far more visceral reaction than I had ever experienced before.

I was not shocked by the accident as much as by my extreme reaction to it. My negative thoughts made the accident almost personal in some way and as I drove home I began to think more and more about that rider - thinking of him as a person rather than an impersonal irritation. Yes he rode with arrogance and carelessness but he is as likely as not, a son, a husband, a father and a good friend to someone....I knew then that I had to learn to show compassion to all people, good and bad.

This thought reminded me of something that I had recently read in His Holiness The Dalai Lamas' book "The Art of Happiness". In it he shared the view that if we treat each other as just plain human beings, communication is so much easier. To ignore our differences and concentrate on our similarities allows us to communicate more effectively and allows us to find true happiness.

By the time I got home, I realised It was a another human being on the motorbike and I needed to treat all people with kindness no matter what they may do or however they might treat me.

See, there WAS a point to this after all! If only I had remembered it BEFORE I wrote the 'moaning meme' although I stand by the Racism one - that is a cancer that is destroying us all (regardless of colour and creed) from the inside out.

Still, I have learnt a big lesson today. I have a VERY long way to go to reach enlightenment and these set backs serve to show me the full exent of the journey still left. For that I am grateful.

* information about Spike Milligan from here (shame on you if you need this though...unless you live in Peru, then I forgive you) .


Chris H said...

Wise words, like this post mate, you ARE getting there! I am not a spiritual/religious person AT ALL, but do believe you get out of life what you put in, and I live my life by this saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"... it is simple and true. Hope you have a wonderful day.

The Rock Chick said...

These are very wise words! I disagree, though, that participating with the meme wasn't a good idea. I think it just showed you that despite being as good as we can be, we are all human and do err sometimes. For me, anyway, a little rant here and there, puts me back into positive thinking :)

Obviously, as you so wonderfully stated about racism, we certainly can't lump people into groups because of the way they look or something they do, like your motor biking friend. They are all individuals, you are right.

I can understand your frustration, though. Here in Chicago, driving and working at the police department, I personally have witnessed gruesome motorcycle accidents. I was involved with one myself in an accident many years ago. It was very dark and the motorcyclists turned left from a side street without even as much as a headlight on. He struck the front drivers side of my car and was thrown off the bike across the hood of my car. I thought I had killed him. Fortuntely, he jumped up and he wasn't injured beyond a bruise or two.

I am still scared to drive near any motorcycle and it's been 16 years since that accident.

"Do unto others is a great way to live" just liek Chris said above. You are definitely there already :)


Jojo said...

Hey, I'm not mad!! I too dislike those that don't play by the rules, they make the rest of us look bad. Guy, always blog what YOU want to blog. I'm fine and still your faithful friend and reader! No harm, and certianly no foul!



FatBlokeThin said...

Thankyou ladies..

Chris - wise words yourself! Thanks.

Jessica - I take you point and it has given me a smack in the mouth and made me determined to try harder so that is positive.

Jojo - I am happy that you're happy but my apology still stands - it was wrong and unnecessary. Thanks for the digital hug!

Jenny said...

Oh, you're HUMAN! I had no idea.

One day at a time friend, and you're still pointed in the right direction; to yourself.

Have a great Monday.

FatBlokeThin said...

Thanks Jenny - you too!

Chris H said...

Dude, Re Harry Potter, I would never say what happened, think of the millions who havn't read it yet! And it took me two days to read it, cos I had to share it with my son..... feel sad it's finished now, not another one to look forward to...

KleoPatra said...

Wow, this was an incredible post. i am a first-time visitor but plan to return.

"The Art of Happiness" is one of my fave books. i've read it over and over and sent copies to friends.

Thanks for your compassion. We can indeed learn every day in all sorts of strange ways how to be more loving toward our fellow beings...

i appreciate this post very much and i could relate to this incident. When i was a young girl of about 7 or 8 years of age, vacationing in Michigan with my family, my mother and i stood one afternon outside on the street watching traffic and i saw a motorcycle speed by.

i said to my mom, "Mommy, that motorcycle... he's going to be in an accident!" i don't think i have to tell you what happened about 5 seconds later.

Thinking good thoughts,
K in San Diego CA

640-863 exam said...

Good post.we should our negative thoughts otherwise we often face problem due to negative thoughts.Be optimistic is a right approach.