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Assignment Handling of the Heart
Part 1 –
The three precepts that I selected were:
29 I have not stimulated, agitated, whipped up, roused or stirred up my ego such that it creates strife or turmoil in life.
33 – I have not harmed anyone by causing offence or through deceit, causing calamities, damage, injury, destruction or mischief.
37 – I have not spoken with arrogance, conceit, and puffed-up self-importance, air of superiority or with condescending attitude.
I selected 29 & 33 because I strive to keep peace in my life. I grew up in a very agitated environment. My mother argued with my Father who was an alcoholic for most of my years. The arguments stopped when he finally moved out. But then I had to deal with my mother’s stress raising three girls by herself. My mother’s family argued when they gathered and took most of their anger to the grave. With the exception of my mother’s younger brother who died of a heart attack, all of my Mother’s siblings died of some form of cancer. My father’s family was more peaceful but without much means (money). They were farmers. It was such a loving environment and as a child, it had an impact of how I wanted to live, humbly without much fanfare. To me I saw a loving community that shared and enjoyed each other’s company in times of church picnics and celebration of life (funerals).
As an adult I tried to keep my sense of peace. In corporate America there were many people living on the edge (extreme stress) due to unrealistic deadlines, debt and overall disappointment in life. Therefore, I found that controlling my ego helps to not add and sometimes diffuse and already agitated population.
Precept 37 was selected due to my abhorrence of people who boast or brag. I detest it so much that I try to humble myself whenever I can. My detest of arrogance, conceit, superiority and self-importance stems from childhood experiences (again) and the corporate workplace. Unfortunately at times I find in myself what I detested in others especially when my worldly consciousness began to grow (such as learning about diet, white supremacy, world history and politics) I found myself becoming condescending when friends and family would ignore what I was trying to “tell them” and they would just call me strange. I still continue to work to refrain from having a “know it all” attitude.