I recently met a new-to-me acronym: OBE.
It also means Order of the British Empire, but during the past year, OBE, in common parlance, means Overtaken By Events. All your well-laid plans have to be scrapped because something has suddenly and unexpectedly happened.
OBE is a military term, which means that all your carefully laid plans and strategies are out the window, due to events beyond your control. Think : Ukraine.
OBE brings to mind another military term, which is much more graphic: SNAFU–Situation Normal: All F**ked Up.
We could say that SNAFU is a condensed–very condensed–version of the Buddha’s teachings. SN–situation normal–is the 1st characteristic of all experience: anicca = impermanence, and change is normal, whether we like it or not. AFU is the 2nd characteristic: dukkha–suffering or unsatisfactoriness. Then there’s the unasked question: Who’s in control here anyway? Because, obviously, the situation is out of control, and the controllers seems to be MIA–missing in action. That’s the 3rd characteristic: anatta or not-self. Yoo-hoo. There is no controller.
What do you do when confronted by OBE or SNAFU? What’s your innate response to sudden change? Fight? Flight? Or freeze? Do you resist? (Fight.) Do you flee? (Looking for safety or something pleasant.) Or do you freeze in your tracks, not knowing which way to jump? (Confusion.)
What’s the wise response? I call it surrendering to things as they are. You might recall the Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change.
Peace or serenity is available in every moment, even those moments when we are OBE, when everything is a SNAFU.