I went to the Apple store in Albany yesterday to have my iPhone checked because I seem to be missing calls. It took me 15 minutes, of driving around the mall, to find the right entrance to this gigantic complex. Jack and Luke waited in the car. I walked into the mall and very loud music was blasting throughout. I felt myself tighten and thought, “I hate these big, impersonal places”. Neither Jack or I have liked malls. We expect not to feel good there and are never disappointed in our expectation. But yesterday, the words to a poem, that a friend had just send me, suddenly came to mind and I stopped.
How does this attitude of judgement serve me? How does it serve others? The implication is that I am “right”, by thinking that malls are loud, and that everyone who likes them, and the music that they play, is wrong. Small petty thoughts never attract large expansive experiences. How did I forget this?!
I started saying, as I resumed my walk to the store, “Thank you for this wonderful place. I am very grateful for all of the people here.” I wasn’t noticing the music anymore and was in the store a few minutes later. A very nice man greeted me, told me that they’d call me when someone was available to help, and 5 minutes later I was walking out feeling wonderful. The mall had not changed.
A MINOR BIRD by Robert Frost
I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.