I feel ridiculous even suggesting it, but we, The Village, *really* need to keep the peace right now, because the fighting has already begun.
But let me be specific. I’m not for one second suggesting that we don’t stand up against injustice, unfairness, prejudice, bullying or actions intended to harm others, but let’s acknowledge a few things first.
We’re scared. We’re ALL scared. For very good reason. And scared people are known for acting from that place of fear and anxiety, because that’s what our systems are designed to do – they’re designed to make snap decisions, when we’re frightened, which will aim to promote our own health and wellbeing, and hopefully to remove us from the scary situation.
Unfortunately, at the moment, the whole world is scary, and there is nowhere to run. There are so many conflicting accounts of what’s going on, and who’s to blame, and who should or should not be taken into consideration, that we’re all running in circles wondering what the hell to do. THANK GOODNESS I’m not in government because I’d probably end up hiding under a table, begging for everyone to mail each other some glitter and to please calm down and stop asking for people to be blown up.
The cynic in me wants to say that nothing can beat or change the levels of hatred the world is seeing, other than killing it with fire, and perhaps that really is something we need to acknowledge. The logical part of me suggests that people with complete confidence in their convictions are unlikely to have their opinions swayed, so there’s that. And the part of me which has complete confidence in the knowledge that Love Wins, wants to suggest that there’s still LOTS that we can do to keep the peace in the face of what seems like war.
Other things to acknowledge include that the world is a huge mess, and there’s probably not any one simple solution; that there is a HUGE crisis with refugees needing shelter and support; there are a huge number of people EVERYWHERE who need help and support; and that there are a huge number of people who are really struggling to come to grips with all of these things (in addition to the challenges and battles of their own daily lives).
Also worth acknowledging is that only WE know our own hearts, and what is within them to compel us to action.
If there is fear or anger or prejudice in our hearts, then our actions will be skewed by those.
If there is love and compassion and empathy, then our actions will be skewed by those.
If there is a mixture of all of the above, then our actions may grind to a halt until we’ve figured out our slant.
Rather than knee-jerk into something, take time to discern your own heart on the matter. Take time to research and ask questions and develop a robust point of view. Decide where your heart lies, and how your actions will align with your innermost self. And keep peace whilst you’re still figuring it out, lest you propagate something you later regret.
Scared, angry, prejudiced people are unlikely to be able to listen to viewpoints which oppose theirs. In a way I want to suggest that there’s no point in going head-to-head with people who are calling for radical, deadly actions, and who are writing off huge swathes of society as collateral damage or worse, potential threats. I feel as though their anger, fear and commitment to the sense of their own rightness are probably uncombattable.
I sincerely hope that no-one reading this is of the opinion that they would like ANY innocent lives to be lost. If you are, then I am unlikely to have the intelligence or tenacity to dissuade you – I don’t think I would make headway, and all the while I slam my head against the brick wall of prejudice, I am losing out on opportunities to keep the peace and propagate love.
Perhaps I am naive in thinking that love can make such a difference, but I won’t be dissuaded. Perhaps I’m living with my head in the clouds. There’s definitely an element of me just NOT understanding it all, and so trying to encourage people to engage positively with one another because I don’t even close to know how to tackle the bigger issues. I don’t even know enough to really have a proper opinion about it, which might be a dereliction of some kind of human duty, but I DO know that when people are hurting and hatred seems rife, a counter-strike of LOVE needs to be made, and apathy and inaction are NOT options.
Each time we are polite in the face of rudeness, generous in the case of meanness, peace-keeping in the face of anger, truthful in the face of lies, and caring in the face of harmful behaviour, then Love Wins.
Each time we set an example which demonstrates respect and concern for people rather than engaging with sweeping overgeneralisations or behaviour which seeks to dehumanise individuals and cast them as villains, then Love Wins.
Each time we choose to involve ourselves in things which promote care for people, or support those in real need, or which seek to encourage active compassion and engagement in helping fellow humans in impossibly challenging situations, then Love Wins.
Each time Love Wins even a tiny bit of ground, we contribute to tipping the balance away from hatred and anger and harm.
Actions get lost whilst people are busy shouting and defending their viewpoints. Let’s commit to making less noise and more difference, because as long as people are at each other’s throats, nobody has each other’s backs, and we’re ALL vulnerable that way.
In the face of discussion about political and national borders being closed, we The Village need to OPEN the borders of our minds and hearts, to keep the peace, and act with love, in ANY AND ALL CAPACITIES, because whenever we do small acts of kindness, in love, then we add to the collective good, and just imagine, if we all joined in, what a DIFFERENCE we could make. So let’s try to disengage from the fights, and just quietly be forces for kindness, goodness, gentleness, compassion, empathy and love, within our own spheres.
As ever, we’re stronger TOGETHER, so don’t let’s be divided. Keep on building The Village, one peaceful, loving act at a time.
Have you got any ideas for how to keep the peace? What did you do when you were last faced with prejudice? Do you think trying to tip the balance with love is a waste of time? Tell me…
This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a particular focus on GRATITUDE, as well as the broader topic of compassion.
Write a post relevant to this month’s focus – GRATITUDE – and add it to the link-up right here by clicking the blue button below.
Here’s how to get involved:
Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook
Visit the 1000Speak blog
Follow @1000Speak on Twitter
Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.