How to Deal With Momentary Injustices

gray monk statue in between plant pots

The moment you let it get to you, you lose

There I was, about to make the turn at the 100m mark of an 800m set in the pool. Suddenly, the familiar sight of floral swimwear appeared in my peripheral vision. Normally, it’s fine to ignore. Normally, they are in the lane next to you and it’s your eyes playing tricks.

Normally.

Unfortunately, today was no normal day.

In spite of being the only person in the lane, meaning a wait of 5 or so seconds would suffice, in spite of almost reaching the end to make that all important turn, the old lady decided it was the right time to cut across my lane.

Cue my abrupt stop.

Cue the shocked wrinkled face instantly turning into an anime smile complete with upside-down triangle eyes.

Cue the customary ‘gomen’.

Cue my anger.

Or, nearly.

The anger was there. However, I’ve been here long enough to know that in Japan, no matter how right you are, anger is never seen in a good light.

The thing is, the moment you let it get to you, you lose.

This wasn’t the first time it’s happened. Far from it. This means in all likelihood it will happen again.

What are you going to do then? Get angry about it? What good would that do? I’ve learned it’s not necessary, and is actually a waste of time and effort. Best just to put your head down and get on with the swim.

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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