What Frustrated You Most Last Week And Why.

A friend recommended that I read a book on India that he felt would be of great interest to me. I went online to find some reviews and was convinced that I would indeed be interested and so went online again to purchase it.

First I tried Amazon, and then two other online book sellers with no success.

I went back to the book’s reviews to find out the publisher’s name and was relieved that it was published by an organisation with a branch in Pune. With some difficulty and the help of another friend I located the telephone number of the shop and rang them up to find that they do not have it in stock either. I was further adviced to get it from Chennai where the head office was located and I went back online to find that they had a website. I could not find any way to order a copy on line but was lucky enough to find a link to send feed back to them.

In the feedback mechanism I expressed my difficulty and sent the message off. Within half an hour, I received a message from them guiding me as to how to order online and I was finally able to order online.

You would think that the story would end there. No, it does not. The seller would not accept payment via my bank and so I had to opt for a credit card payment which I never use for online purchases. I then found that they would not accept Master Cards and my Visa card is under replacement procedure so I had to use my son’s Visa card.

No, the story does not end there either. The payment portal was having some problems loading and despite a number of attempts I was unable to make payment. The next day, I tried again and failed so I used the feedback mechanism again to send a message to the seller that its payment portal was not functioning.

Finally, two days after the whole story started, I was able to order and pay for the book which now the seller informs me is on its way to me.

Do I really need to continue as to why I was frustrated?

The topic for today’s 2 on 1 post is from fellow blogger Shackman. Please do go and see what he has to say on the same topic here.

Neither Seek Nor Avoid, Take What Comes.

The title is a quote from the collected works of Swami Vivekananda. My choice for the topic for this week’s 2 on 1 post came about inspired by the following comment by my fellow 2 on 1 blogger Shackman on my last week’s 2 on 1 post. “Mostly though I simply accept what has been my life essentially as my destiny – which frankly surprised me.” He zapped me further when I suggested this title with – “The Swami speaks again! Sounds good!”

Here is the Swami’s take on the topic.

In 2007, Nassim Nicholas Taleb published a book called The Black Swan. In it, he argues that human history is best understood in terms of its most consequential events. The thing about these events is that, once they’ve already happened, we always think we understand the causes of why they occurred. But the truth is, that they’re fundamentally unpredictable. We only have the illusion of understanding them. The implication, and the meat of Taleb’s book, is about how you have to expect the unexpected.

So, how does one go about expect the unexpected and also accept that there is every likelihood of the unlikely happening?

The answer lies in two parts.  The first is in The Serenity Prayer. For the uninitiated, it is as follows:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Even if one is an atheist or an agnostic, instead of “God”, one can say “May I have” as a means of auto suggestion and the advice given in the topic becomes a child’s play.

The second part is in the Zen observation’

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.”

~ Matsuo Bashō

Both parts suggest developing a state of equanimity. Difficult to put into practice but,  not impossible.  Just about every spiritual discipline suggests that one tries to reach this stage of being, so that one can live a peaceful and stress free life.

To know others is wisdom;
To know yourself is enlightenment
To master others requires force;
To master yourself requires true strength.”

~ Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Ch 33.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same topic.