I'm glad you are feeling encouraged by the letters being sent to you. I have tried to use the examples of my life to explain the culture matrix to you; it seems to be the best means for you to understand what I am saying.
Anyway, I hope you still recall the Culture Rule 4 from Letter 4: Know the story behind the story. It's now time for me to explain the next one
Culture Rule 5: You must RESPOND to the situation, instead of REACTING to it.
As you know by now, I can be every emotional. When bad things happen to me, I give in to my emotions. Therefore, a lot of my friends, family relatives and colleagues from work, take advantage of me. It is as if they know how to "PUSH MY BUTTONS". They purposely do things to get on my nerves and make fun of me when they see how I over react.
Furthermore, when bad situations occur at home or with my spouse, I simply give in to my emotions. I complain and shout about it so much that I end up getting a headache, loss of appetite and terrible mood swing.
Do I blow things out of proportion? Am I the only one that feels this way? What's wrong with me? I need help; I need answers.
One day, while I worked at the supermarket, we were told by the head of public relations that once a month the supermarket would donate some goods to the less privileged at the "help house", located quite close to the central distribution center of the supermarket within the town.
He said they needed volunteers who would be in charge of this new project. I offered to join.
Two weeks later we took some goods from the supermarket store, loaded them into the truck, and headed to the "help house". There were five of us who volunteered to go.
When we got to the "help house", I was overwhelmed with what I saw. There were children playing in the field where the help house was built. As we parked the truck, a certain man came to welcome us. He had a wonderful smile on his face as he shook our hands and hugged us.
He escorted us into the house, while young men were called to off load all what we had brought for them.
I couldn't help but notice the clean environment and the smiles on the faces of all those who stayed in the help house.
I must confess; I was a little confused. I thought this place was supposed to be filled with people who needed aid and assistance. How can they be in need when they looked happier than anyone I have ever met?
The kids that were playing in the compound were called in to thank us and show their appreciation. While the kids shook our hands, the man that welcomed us gave each of us a gift! It was a handmade woven scarf.
I was shocked. We came here to give them things, yet, we were given things in return?
We left the help house and returned to the supermarket. That night, while I laid down on my bed, I couldn't help but think about what I experienced at the help house.
There is something they know that I don't know that is making them smile.
For the next two months, we followed the same routine when we took things to the help house. Each time we brought things, the pattern of smiling and appreciation was repeated by the kids and the man who welcomed us.
The next time we visited, I asked if I could see that man privately. He took me to the corner of one of the rooms and listened intently as I asked him, "Why do you smile so often? I know the help house is constantly in need and totally dependent on what people bring here."
The man said that they were aware of how things were in the help house, they just don't react to it, they respond. They don't allow situations to determine how they feel, they respond in the best way possible to that situation.
"The only way you can improve your circumstance is simply to improve yourself. You can't choose all your circumstances but you can choose how you think and respond to them," he said.
That statement hit me hard in the heart. Here is a man who was not in the best situation as regards life, but he approached life better than those of us who were better off than he was.
Then it occurred to me: "You must respond to your situation, and not react to it. I must take the time to ensure good thoughts race through my mind, when things happen. Such thinking will allow me to know how to approach the situation in the best way."
I thanked him and wrote down what he said, but in my own words, THINK AND ACT THE BEST WAY by responding to the situation with good thoughts and not reacting to it with my emotions, which are often full of bad thoughts. That is how I got the next letter for the culture matrix.
The letter 'T', THINK AND ACT THE BEST WAY.
Dear Child, this statement is so true. It took me some time to adjust to this culture, but I finally got it. My colleagues at work began to notice a change in me. I responded to situations, instead of reacting to it. They even tried to "PUSH MY BUTTONS" but noticed I was not the same man. I had changed.
The situations I faced were the same; however, the way I saw them was different. This mindset helped me to approach situations in a way I could never have done, if my thoughts about them hadn't changed.
"You must respond to the situation, instead of reacting to it."
In my next letter, I will tell you how I got the next Letter for the Culture Matrix.
Remember, Culture is everything.
Copyright © 2011 HiZen-3 Ltd
This story is a series of letters written by Segun Cadmus, Manager, HiZen-3 Ltd, a company created to be the Ultimate guide in Culture Management at work and life. Please visit us at: http://www.hizenworld.com for more information about what we do.
Please share a comment about Letter 5 with the writer:
Email HiZen-3 Ltd
First Letter From HiZen
Second Letter From HiZen
Third Letter From HiZen
Fourth Letter From HiZen