August Practice: Rethinking Rude Behavior

Daily Life, Practice | civility, democracy

August 01, 2018

Fire breathers performing in Assisi Italy

We believe that democracy as a way of life can be strengthened and deepened through spiritual practices—both those traditionally considered to be "inner work" and those that require active engagement with our neighbors and communities. In partnership with our friends at Spirituality & Practice, we are sharing monthly practices to help us all “practice democracy” from the inside out.

This month's practice, from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's book, Celebrating Silence, asks us to see someone's rude behavior in this light:

• Rudeness indicates the intensity of their commitment.
• It indicates their level of stress and insensitivity.
• It attests to the upbringing of the person.
• It indicates a persistent behavioral pattern.
• It shows a lack of knowledge.
• It shows a lack of insight into their own mind and its sensations.
• It shows you behavior to avoid.
• It is an opportunity for you to welcome and absorb the rudeness.
• It strengthens your mind.
• It renders unconditional the love that you are.

The next time someone is rude to you, make sure you do not get upset. Just return a broad smile. If you can digest rudeness, nothing whatsoever can shake you.

Visit Spirituality & Practice's PracticingDemocracy.net for more resources.