Daily Meditation #87–5/20/2022
You’re in your favorite armchair with a fresh cup of coffee at hand. The new book you’ve been eagerly waiting for has finally arrived. You’ve been planning this morning of your day off for weeks to just sit and indulge.
Before you know it, the coffee is mostly gone.
An hour has passed — you’re zoned in.
*Tink* you hear outside.
It only pulls your attention away for a moment.
Then, a minute later you hear it again, but now many times.
You sigh and try to regain your focus…
But the sound persists.
Before you know it, you’re losing track of where you are.
“That moron of a neighbor,” you swear quietly, trying to continue the story to no avail, “what the hell is he doing now?!”
After a few more failing minutes reading and continuing banging, you purse your lips, slam the book shut and get out of your chair, full of fury for your favorite neighbor’s hijinks.
Stomping across the house, you open the blinds, surveying their garage…only to see they aren’t home?
Maybe you just missed them…
But then you hear it again!
As you go to prepare another cup of coffee, you glance outside to see your neighbor across the street — the “good” and tolerable one who you quite like — is assembling a new set of lawn furniture.
*Tink, tink, tink* it goes together.
Suddenly, you don’t feel so angry…Greg is actually a pretty good neighbor…
You were filling with rage, ready to declare your day ruined because of that neighbor.
Because of someone else.
You perceived it was your annoying neighbor and were prepared to cast blame onto them for agitating you. However, when you realized it was, in fact, someone you appreciate, your mood changed.
Perception can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, if you allow it to run amok, you are at the whims of your emotions like a small boat in a raging sea.
On the other hand, when you cultivate mindfulness and disciplined perceptions you have a firm grip over your emotions like a master craftsman.
If you go through your days free of accountability to your perceptions, be prepared to feel lost.
To feel out of control with your life.
Like you are swirling a drain, getting nearer and nearer to being sucked in.
Your neighbor did nothing to you.
They didn’t upset you.
You upset yourself when you allowed their noise to become something — before this, it was nothing at all.
Be accountable to your perception!
Follow for daily philosophical meditations.
These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”