Category Archives: acceptance

How can people move past anger after the election?

Why do elections create such strong emotions?

In any election both sides have invested a lot of passion, energy and time in their point of view. For many reasons humans take not getting their point of view validated as a menace and a threat to their well-being. When we have to coexist with someone who has a different point and their point of view is victorious, it’s hard.

It’s quite challenging to be in a world where one’s strongly held views are repudiated. Our minds wrap around the rightness of our view and the need to have other people share those views in order to feel that there is order and safety. If you find out the other side has won, it is a loss which needs to be grieved and it creates a tremendous amount of vulnerability.

Excerpt from Amy Adam article in Stanford News- read more

Remember to consider your humanity before attacking others

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   “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” ― Ernst F. Schumacher

In times of distress, destruction and violence seem to be good solutions. People don’t resort to these because they are full of hatred and anger, but because they are often driven by fear.

It’s easy to prepare for the worst and immediately jump to conclusions. As a society, we often want to be prepared for whatever situation life throws at us.

But when we become preoccupied with our fears, we often forget the bigger picture. Read More.

Thank You Donald Trump

The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer~

Some people are horrified at the venom spewing from the mouth of Donald Trump. People at the other end of the spectrum are happy to hear someone express the rage they feel because their lives are not the way they would like to see them.  Most of these people don’t dare to share their anger or lash out at anyone who could possibly be responsible for their lives being a mess but suffer in resignation.

The Trump rhetoric is not a reasoned response to feeling angry among his followers. There is no attempt to understand why they are in the situation they are in or to find a reasonable approach to changing that situation. Their sole focus seems to be to rage at those they blame for their misfortune and to destroy the people and institutions they hold responsible.

Trump supporters are not the only ones suffering. Many people silently endure poverty, racism, debt, lack of a good job and medical woes. They could choose rage as well but realize that spewing invective as he does will not change their situation. Nor will it make them feel any better in the long run. Those suffering in both groups do not have the power individually to change their status to that of people with more satisfying lives.

Have you ever known an angry mob to find constructive solutions to their plight? I haven’t. The only way to make reasonable changes is to learn how to work together. But you can’t do this while you are consumed with rage.

People shouting are not in the frame of mind to reason with anyone else about anything. Others who listen to the shouting only hear raw emotion. They don’t hear any details of others’ pain, how it came about or how it affects individuals and families. Neither do they hear anything rational which might become a basis for productive negotiations or cooperation.

So why should we thank Donald Trump? We all have within us the capacity to negotiate with each other toward our common good. All of us have the capacity to descend into blind rage where our words are merely weapons and offer no bridges toward mutual dialog. We can thank him for showing us the worst of which we are capable. He mirrors the depth of rage and spitefulness for which we all have the capacity.

Can you imagine all of the billions of people on earth acting as he does in public? It’s a frightful image to behold. Before we get to this point, we can learn to behave like rational human beings and express our concerns in a way which others can understand and which allows us to work together toward solutions which benefit us all.

Life Lab Lessons

  • Write down what makes you angry about your life.
  • Try to understand how you got to feel this way.
  • Do so without blaming someone else for your misfortune.
  • Consider what you have to offer others to better their lives.
  • Try out one of your ideas with one other person.

Political Correctness or Respect for Others

 

Rev. Mr. Stewart advised three questions to be put to ourselves before speaking evil of any man: First, is it true? Second, is it kind? Third, is it necessary?

~Poynder’s Literary Extracts~

Recently the term “politically correct” has come to the fore in presidential campaign haggling. The term generally means speaking in ways which do not offend any individual or group. Certain politicians take pride in flouting convention by saying whatever comes into their minds without concern for who is offended. Instead, they say whatever occurs to them and it is up to others who might feel offended to just grow up.

They take this position under the guise of free speech. They are entitled to say whatever they want, regardless of how their words strike others. It’s not up to them to shield the rest of the world from their utterances. Free speech is a right included in the first amendment to the constitution with these words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This amendment was included to prevent Congress from making laws against free speech as well as other related rights. It was later generalized to apply to all levels of government. Nowhere does it say that it is okay to say whatever you want to without restriction. We have laws which prohibit damage to others by speech, specifically slander and libel which damages another’s reputation, inciting illegal behavior, and obscenity, although the courts have had difficulty defining just what is obscene.

Some people go to extremes to prevent their words from offending others. Others feel that it’s okay to say whatever they can get away with regardless of how others feel about it. Without considering the legal status of every statement, perhaps there is another way to evaluate our speech. We could stop to think before we open our mouths and ask ourselves the questions posed in the quote above.

Sometimes we repeat things we hear which might simply be gossip with no basis in reality. It is not illegal to gossip but it serves no useful purpose other than to sound as if we know what we are saying although we might not know anything about the truth of the matter. Gossip and rumors can harm the reputation of others, not to mention undermining our own credibility.

Is what you say kind? Do you say something to enhance or encourage others or are your words mean-spirited and spiteful? How would you like your words to be received? How would you like to be perceived by others? How would you like others to speak of you, especially when you are struggling to do the right thing and still make mistakes?

Is there any purpose for your words? Do they accomplish anything positive or are they just empty jabbering. That doesn’t mean we can’t tell stories. They are our way of sharing our fantasies, wishes and dreams. They just don’t need to be at someone else’s expense. I have heard an admonition from many parents, “If you have nothing kind to say, it’s better to keep your mouth shut.” Do your words accomplish anything or are they just idle chatter?

All of these tests for our speech imply respect for others. We don’t all agree on everything. Our opinions and feelings are based on our own experience which might be quite different from that of others. Before you go on the attack, stop and listen to the other person. You might learn something about yourself.

Life Lab Lessons

  • Ask yourself if what you have to say is true.
  • Is your opinion in the spirit of kindness for others?
  • Will your words contribute anything positive to others?
  • How would you feel if someone used your unkind words to describe you?
  • Try to see others as fellow travelers rather than competitors.

A Letter from Our Children

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The ultimate test of human conscience may be
the willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations.

~Gaylord Nelson~

I met an eight year old girl on the beach early one morning. As I approached her, the girl asked me what I was looking for. I told her sharks’ teeth and showed her my small handful. She showed me her handful and she offered them to me.

My encounter reminded me how innocent, curious, and generous children can be. As adults, we often become obsessed by our search to improve our collection of things and become preoccupied with fear that someone will take them from us. In the process we move faster each day and forget the joy of standing on a beach or anywhere else in nature for that matter.

Some of us are just beginning our productive years. Some of us are steaming ahead in mid-career. Others are winding down and hopefully have some time and energy left to enjoy our world. In another fifty years, our children and grandchildren will replace us at all the various stages of their own lives.

If they could write us a letter from the future, what would they have to say about the legacy we have left them? Would they thank us for finding a way to understand and accept each other rather than continuing to compete with each other? Would they thank us for finding ways to love rather than hate each other? Would they express their disappointment that we were not able to find a way to live together in harmony?

That future has not yet arrived and there is still time before such a letter is written. We have choices to make every minute of our lives. No matter where we are in our life journey, we can choose to make the world a little better place with our unique contributions. We can also choose to take whatever we want from the world without giving back in return.  We can link with others in their journey through life, ignore them or hate them. We can choose the path of love and acceptance or the path of fear and intolerance.

All of our collective decisions about how to act in each circumstance which appears before us contribute to the legacy we will leave to our children, grandchildren and their descendants. Each of us can contribute to leaving a better place for those who follow us or a worse one. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of God as thinking thoughts of peace and not affliction toward us. He invites us to follow God’s example. Are you willing to do your part through the actions of your daily life?

Life Lab Lessons

  • What legacy do you want to leave your children?
  • What do you have to contribute?
  • Start by finding peace within yourself.
  • Find ways to be at peace with others.
  • Choose love over fear.

Narayan Pura Defying divisive religious intolerance with humanity

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Karachi

Breaking: Sheikh Al-Nimr, a Shia political activist, leader and Islamic scholar in Sunni majority Saudi Arabia was executed by royal decree for peacefully advocating for the rights of Shias in the conservative kingdom.

Protests have broken out in Iran, Iraq, Qatif and other Shia bastions; it seems the toxic Sunni-Shia divide has churned out yet another polarising incident that threatens to deepen the rifts within the Islamic world

– See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/89370-Narayan-Pura-Defying-divisive-religious-intolerance-with-humanity#sthash.M9eYXy2v.dpuf