With the risk of making people angry at me, I felt compelled to write this article. It’s not intended to insult anyone but to make people THINK on their own and to stop casting blame. Guess what? WE are part of every situation and the outcome of every situation. The fault is not just of one person, but all of ours. Again, my intention here is to plant a seed and to make you think.
I felt especially compelled to write this article today, the day of the funeral of fallen police officer Ramos.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi
WE are powerful people. When we are silent, things occur that may not be pleasing to us. This is evident in EVERY area of our lives. But, yet we don’t necessarily take responsibility for the outcomes and then we BLAME others when things don’t work out the way we prefer. What do I mean? Let’s look at some examples that may occur in our everyday lives.
Relationships: This can be a love relationship, work relationship, a relative, or a friend. Sometimes we don’t like the behavior of someone. What do we do? Do we sit down and have an intelligent conversation and “lay it all out on the table”? Let’s be truthful… I would bet that, in the majority of instances, we don’t. Instead, we complain. Perhaps we go behind their back and do “stuff” that only exacerbates a situation to “get them”. Just our own talking about whatever “it” is makes us more angry and frustrated. A better way would be to talk about it TOGETHER and figure out the next step.
Maybe the person causing your issue isn’t aware of what they are doing? Think about your boss. They “make” you do stuff, or give you bad hours, or “take advantage”. My own children complain about this type of situation. The key word here is complain. Complaining does not get you anywhere. So, what do you do? Perhaps your supervisor or manager is overwhelmed in their own situation or the pressures of their position. Bringing them an awareness of what is troubling you or a hardship that is created may alleviate issues for you both. I’m sure they would appreciate it much more than the hostility, hard feelings and antagonistic behaviors that result when these type of feelings are held inside. My oldest son recently had been completely overwhelmed with his hours at work and his workload at college. Did he mention it to his manager? Nope. Would he have been better off if he had? Absolutely.
Again, we can apply this to every situation in our lives. A relationship with a relative or a spouse would definitely benefit from sitting down and working things out. Look at the ramifications of not doing this – the hostility, hurt, and the alienation that result when we don’t. This is evident in situations with relatives in my own family – who doesn’t like who, who doesn’t talk to who. And, how many people know someone going through a divorce? It is an amicable parting or are they trying to “screw” the other? Or, who knows people in a marriage that is “failing”? I truly believe there is a way to work things out. Talking about the feelings being harbored inside is definitely, in my opinion, the first step. Human beings are not mind readers and there is no way we can assume another party knows that they are troubling us or causing a hardship. Bullying comes to mind here, as well. Just “food for thought”, but at what point do we stand up for what is right? History repeats itself if we let it (I’ll explain this statement in a moment). We know there are issues, but do we continue to be enablers?
Another important thing to consider is that we have to let the person bringing us a situation the opportunity to speak. Instead, do we get defensive? I know I have been guilty of this myself… we justify our actions because, after all, we’re right, aren’t we? It’s important to listen to what the person coming to you is speaking about. Sometimes it makes sense to see what we don’t consciously see; even when something we did or said was not intended in the way it was perceived. But, here’s the beauty of this. We have the ability to work out whatever was the situation in a kind and amicable way. Perhaps we can even start over with a fresh perspective to make things better for all parties.
Responsibility — In today’s society there is so much thrown at us. So much news, so many opinions, so much stuff telling us how to think and what we should think.
Unfortunately, it is evident that this way is not productive. We can see the ramifications when people are caught up in the fervor. It’s the “lynch mobs” of yesteryear, the riots, like the time in our society of the Salem witch hunt. A few sentences ago I noted the statement of “history will repeat itself if we let it”. I wrote that in our book, If I Knew then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com). Unfortunately, we continue to let it.
The Salem witch hunt, to me, was such a sad time in our nation’s history. We can see situations in our society’s history, again and again, of how fast people just “jump on the bandwagon”. It perplexes me how this can be. Perhaps an excuse for the actions of our people in the 1600’s was ignorance and lack of education. But, in the year 2014 (and almost 2015) it is hard to imagine that this can be an excuse. I believe many of us now run on political agendas and “blame”.
Maybe it’s time to stop and figure out what is the next best step to bring unity to our people. Look at the hardship and sadness that result from how we’re currently operating. Look at the negative feelings that are building and building in our society. Look at the instances where our politicians have forgotten who they work for an their harmful actions that cause irreparable damage. Again, it’s the year 2014. When will this madness stop? Why is it always “us” against “them”?
It’s time for each of us to take responsibility for our own actions, to sit down, to act like intelligent people and to make the best choices for the whole.
That’s really the means to a simple solution.
But, unfortunately, when we are silent – and I’m not talking about the noise being made by the angry mobs roaming the streets of our cities, as I believe these are extremely unproductive – we get nowhere.
What is the next best step? Where do we go from here?
Anger, frustration, hate, and fear are all unproductive.
Let’s figure out what is the best way for US to proceed forward at this time. The key word here is FORWARD, instead of progressively moving backwards. All we have to do is look at all the options and choose the best one – TOGETHER. Let’s take responsibility for our actions, alone and together. The alternative is just not acceptable.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi
A statement worth repeating again and again; only WE, together, can effectively create that change.