It’s no secret our country is far from getting along right now. All you need to do is open Facebook and see about 20 debates going on, as if furiously typing on your keyboard is going to change someone’s perspective.
You know what gets people to change their mind even more? Name-calling.
I’m obviously being sarcastic, but it’s sadly the reality of these Facebook debates that occur every. Single. Day.
I see friends on both sides of the political spectrum and their passion to defend their beliefs. Passion is such a great thing! I admire that about my friends. I admire their intelligence, their participation in freely expressing themselves, and working to make a difference.
But I can’t help but feel that their passion isn’t being utilized as well as it could be.
Maybe, the solution to a lot of our society’s problems is to stop FIGHTING. Stop fighting with one another, stop fighting against what we dislike, and start presenting solutions.
I would never tell someone to stop believing in what they believe in. I do not have that authority, nor would I ever want that authority.
But I want to present a POSITIVE challenge. But before I do, I want to very briefly go over the Law of Attraction (hang in there with me).
The Law of Attraction, in its simplest definition, means like attracts like. Plain and simple.
So, let’s put this Law to use in a problem that is very prevalent in today’s society: racism.
When an incident occurs, rather than come together as a society and form a solution, we divide and fight a social war. One side stands their ground and believes whoever the victim was deserved it in some way or another. The other side is usually in an uproar, fighting against the first side. The “racist” side (I use quotations so as not to place judgement or labels on anyone). When you go at someone, angrily trying to change their beliefs, you’re usually not met with peace and harmony. Some people will argue back with you, some will taunt you, and some will simply not care. You feel like the better person because you do care. And your intentions are good!! No denying that. But you are entering the battlefield without even trying to understand another’s perspective. You want them to understand yours without trying to understand theirs.
That goes for the other side as well. You will show up, push buttons, and sometimes laugh at those who are passionately trying to explain themselves. You write them off as being “wrong” and can’t understand how they could be so “dumb”… You’re not even trying to understand them. You’re not even trying to see how words and actions can hurt other people.
It becomes a fight, an argument. When you fight something, more “fight” appears. Like attracts like. The Law of Attraction. When you put your focus and energy into the fight, don’t be surprised if that’s what you get back in return. Resistance is met with more resistance.
Solution? Put your energy and focus into the people who are willing to spread the message of whatever it is you are wishing upon this world.
If it’s equality, focus on sharing articles or messages of ways we can truly reach equality. Many people fight against the white man. Women fight against the Men’s’ Club. Want to know how you take away that power? You stop putting your focus and energy into your supposed “enemy”, and start getting out there and changing it yourself. BE THE CHANGE. Ever notice how some of the most admirable people in history did things in a peaceful manner? They recognized the Law of Attraction, or at least the science behind it. Martin Luther King Jr… One of his most famous quotes focuses on LIGHT and LOVE. You cannot take away darkness with more darkness. You cannot drive out hate with hate. So many of you, on either side of the political table top, share that quote as if it means something to you, and then you do the exact opposite. Fighting a cause cannot drive out the fight from the other side. Only peace and the willingness to show up as solution can do that.
Show up with a solution without an undertone of accusation or anger. Truly show up with a solution with the intention of SOLVING a problem. Treat others with respect if that’s what you want, no matter their political party, the color of their skin, their gender, their sexuality, etc. It’s really so simple. The majority of us learned that simple rule as kids. You can say that there are those out there that do not treat others with respect. Stop putting your focus on that one person and put the focus on the five others that DO. Be the example of what you want to see in your reality. It’s not you being complacent. It’s not you turning the other cheek. It’s you showing someone a new way of being.
Are there bad people out there in the world with some twisted views? Yes. But in the words of Luke Bryan (had to lighten the mood somehow), I believe most people are good. I believe most people show up every single day and try their best. Your best may not be the same thing as someone else’s. Our best doesn’t make us better or worse than anyone else, either.
If you can look at your supposed enemy and see the scared, little child in them, I think you’d be shocked at how your heart softens. Because sometimes, we all have that scared little kiddo in us, too. Hurt people HURT people. Is that fair? No. But this is where you get to use your good. This is where you get to show up, be a GOOD example of how to treat people regardless of circumstance, and maybe make a bigger impact on them than you would by calling them a deplorable or a snowflake.
You cannot show up to an argument, wanting to be understood without the willingness to try and understand someone in return. You cannot show up with anger in your heart and expect love and peace to be the end product.
One of my favorite sayings a former teacher of mine would say (although it was NOT my favorite at the time in my life when it was being said) is this: You catch more flies with honey.
I recognize this may not be received the way I intend it to be received by everyone. You may answer like Sandra Bullock’s character in Miss. Congeniality wanted to answer and I may be Cheryl (again, lightening the mood). But I’m putting my money where my mouth is by showing up and offering a solution (and probably some horrible pop culture references), with the intent to help us all remember one simple fact: We are all doing our best as we know that best to be.
My ideas for moving FORWARD in this country?
1. Recognize we all have the right to believe in what we do, even if you don’t agree with another’s specific beliefs.
2. Focus your energy on what is going RIGHT in the areas you want to see improved. Is someone being a positive influence (meaning no anger, aggression, etc) in that area? Share THAT article. Put the energy THERE. You’ll be shocked when you start to see more of it.
3. Show up in life how you wish the world would show up. Be the person who treats others with respect. Show equality to everyone you meet. Attempt to understand someone else’s perspective.
4. Recognize when you are placing judgement on a person, a group, an idea, and do your best to replace that judgement with curiosity. What makes a person believe that belief? What makes them tick that way? Again, attempt to understand. Even if you don’t think they deserve your understanding, do it anyway. You are being the solution when you do.
Our country may be a long way from recovering from years of hate and narrow-minded thinking (on every side) but it could also be just one step away. It all depends on how we choose to show up.
I choose to show up, trying my best and being willing to see into another’s point of view. I recognize that I will not always be right and that I am not perfect. But I promise to do my best and make sure everyone I interact with feels loved and validated, despite any differences.
No one said it better than Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”