It seems that the more I rest in surrender to my pleasure and bathe in the waters of Being In The Present, the more I notice how out of synch I’ve grown with some of the rest of the world.
I read stories every day from around the globe. Many of these stories reinforce my belief in the inherent goodness of people. And many of them hurt my heart.
Is it true, the more you open your heart the more possibility of pain there is?
It hurts my heart to see meanness. It feels safe and smug, perhaps, to sit in one’s dark internet corner and anonymously heap feelings of anger and powerlessness upon someone else in the form of commenting or other trolling. The rise of troll culture astounds me. I understand what it feels like to believe I am worthless and powerless, but it’s never driven me to intentionally try to hurt someone else. And yet I see more and more of this all the time.
It hurts my heart to see judgment. Whatever happened to “agreeing to disagree”? Why is it that ignorance is not tolerated, and that instead of trying to grok into another’s viewpoint we call them names (“idiot”, “stupid”) because they don’t understand or aren’t on our side of an issue? Is being “right” really more important than connection with another beating human heart?
It hurts my heart to see violence. Mean words and name-calling are forms of violence. Negative self talk is violence. So is any act intended to hurt someone. So is removing someone’s choice. Acts of violence occur in and around us daily. There are so many that it becomes hard to notice them. We become immune. Frozen in our little bubble.
I’ve come to believe that violence, judgment. and meanness exist when we fail to remember that the other person is a PERSON. Dehumanizing someone is necessary, I believe, in order to intentionally inflict pain on them.
There are stories about great men and women who treat everyone the same: shoe shiners, doormen, taxi drivers, kings. How beautiful to give the gift of truly seeing a person as the messy, striving to be better, loving, made-from-starstuff being that they are.
I am far from perfect in the kindness arena. I get cranky, impatient, irritated, and angry. Sometimes all at once! I have given more than one customer service phone rep an earful amid my frustration. I am not proud of this.
I can do better. I strive to do better.
Can we positively impact the world by doing our best to be a kinder person?
Can we help ignite the divinity in others (we are starstuff!) by choosing to see their humanity?
Can we open others’ hearts a little by keeping our heart open, even if it hurts at times to be so raw and exposed?
December is a tough month for some people. There is lots to do, and expectations and emotions run high. We’ve created a cozy holiday image of friends and family nestled around a warm fire, but for many it’s just a hopeless faraway fantasy.
I’m not into telling people what to do or how to be, but I love the idea of a kindness challenge. How can we be kinder? How can we see more of the inner light in people? How can we, even amid our own challenges and frustrations, see other people as human?
Much love, as always.