"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
Approach without judgement, always practice compassion and remember that we rarely know the real story!
So, you have a cause or something that you feel passionate about? What is the best way to champion that cause? Too many times all of our energy is not focused on who or what we want to make better. We instead tend to focus on fighting the problem, the issue, the unkind person or thing that caused the “whatever we are trying to fix”. If we launch a “war on” mentality to any issue, we are giving that part of the issue most of our energy. Bear with me here for a minute. All I am trying to say is think before you react either physically or verbally. Focus on making the whole situation better, not merely switching the consequences.
There is a quote that I really like and feel strongly about by Ashleigh Brilliant goes “Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most”. I am not suggesting we become doormats or let everyone get away with everything. I am suggesting that we work to find the root cause of things and discontinue the endless cycles that benefit no one. Rise above the level of what caused the situation and be strong enough to help others rise as well. Education is where I feel our focus and energy needs to be the most. I do not mean just schooling and homework education, but specific education to eliminate fear and prejudices from our society. But how is this possible? I feel it begins with approaching situations with positive energy and understanding.
Your cause may be animal abuse and neglect and you hear that someone left a dog chained up, hardly fed him, and used physical force to “teach him to behave”. Your first reaction might be to want to string this person up and beat him to show him how wrong he was, but you are now on their level. Remember that a child abuser was almost always an abused child. Many times a bully is an insecure person who lashes out at others to feel powerful. In all of these cases action must be taken and the person or animal needs to be removed from the situation and receive help, but don’t stop there. In a bullying situation, if a person is being a bully because they are bigger and stronger than you and I walk up and simply handle the situation with force then I am simply reinforcing the bully’s conviction. I have stopped you from being bullied, but created another bully…me.
I know life is not lollipops and sunshine and some people are only interested in causing harm. My hope is that we can change how we react to these events and break cycles. Punishment is not always the answer and hatred is never a positive emotion. As I have said, it is about breaking cycles and breaking down walls. Learn about what scares you or what you do not understand. Approach without judgement, always practice compassion and remember that we rarely know the real story!