How To Deal With Public Nuisances?

portrait photo of woman in yellow t shirt doing the shh sign while standing in front of blue background
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Question: What would you do if you encounter those who blast their music in public transport? How should I control the feeling of being pissed off in me? Sometimes, their music is so loud that my mind is confused by it. I always feel like going up to them to tell them to stop, but I’m scared of being scolded by them.

Answer: Here are three suggestions:(1) Take the opportunity to be mindful of Buddha’s name (nianfo) or a mantra in your mind, or meditate, to train your patience. When you nianfo well, you will be mindful only of Buddha’s name (e.g. Amituofo), and not the music, and anger will fade away. While it is good to deter public nuisances, it is also good to learn to not be deterred by public nuisances, to not let them rob you of your peace of mind.

(2) Walk over calmly, smile and say politely (without raising your voice), ‘Excuse me, can you lower the volume (or use earphones) as it’s too loud?’ If you’re gentlemanly and polite, you’re not likely to be scolded or intimidated. In fact, they’re likely to follow your request. However, do use your judgement to decide if this is pointless or even dangerous, especially when they are many of them, and that they don’t look reasonable, and that there is no one around likely to support you if they give you trouble.

(3) Take note of the details to report to the management when appropriate. You might not be able to change the situation this time, but probably, the management can help prevent the next?

1 Comment

  • If the feeling of “pissed off” is too strong and you are unable to concentrate on “nianfo”, then you can reduce the ‘pissed off” feeling by realising what is actually happening. What your eyes saw was a man who blasted music in public transport. However, what should our heart see? We should see a man who is damaging his ear drum and yet still enjoying the process (note: My colleague who was in her late twenties had her left ear drum permanently impaired due to loud music at disco)…we should also see a man who requires loud music in order to derive enjoyment, and a man who needs loud music to get enjoyment is unlikely to possess a peaceful mind (as compared to us who can get enjoyment simply through just reading)…we should also see a man who has not yet got the opportunity to learn to be considerate. He is enjoying the process of hurting himself physically and mentally. We are not skillful enough to help them. We can only sincerely wish that one day they will have the opportunity to be introduced to buddhism and develop an awaken mind.

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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