I once saw a movie about a man who woke up frustrated. As he was going through every aspect of his morning feeling frustrated, nothing worked in his house. Then when he finally pulled out of his driveway, a kid on a skateboard cut him off, and he thought “why does that kid always go behind me when I’m pulling out; doesn’t he have a brain in his head?” Next, he drove down to the coffee shop to get his morning coffee, but as he approached the door, somebody stepped in front of him, blocking the entrance without even noticing that he was there. He thought “Why is this person so inconsiderate?” When he got inside the shop, there was a long line. Now he thought, “I have to wait so long: this is horrible.” When he got near the front of the line, someone else cut in front of him. He was at the peak of his frustration when finally got his coffee and sat down. Just then, a mysterious person walked up to him, handed him a pair of glasses and said, “Please try these on.” The camera then showed the audience the case from which the glasses came. The label read: “EYES OF SERVICE.”
When the man put the glasses on, he at once saw into the lives of everyone he had just interacted with. The glasses gave him the power to see that each one of them was struggling with some troublesome issue in his or her life. The glasses also revealed a digital readout on each person’s chest, describing what problem each of them was facing. The barista behind the counter was struggling to overcome substance addiction but she was nevertheless trying to put on a cheerful face. The person who had cut him off in line, had done so absentmindedly, because he was in despair since finding out that his wife had cancer. The kid who rode the skateboard behind his car was in a hyperactive state, due to lack of attention from his family.
With the magic glasses on, the man not only saw the plight of each person he met, but also felt an urge to do something to help each one. As soon as this mood of service crept into his mind and heart, his mood and demeanor transformed. A smile came to his face as his frustration abated and he saw that the inconveniences he had perceived a few moment before, were minor. Now, he saw the people whom he had perceived as offensive to be fellow travelers, facing the same kinds of struggles as he. As the impulse to do something to help alleviate the sufferings of each of these people increased, so too, did his sense of purpose, peace of mind and happiness.
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