April 27, 2016

A Revolution of Forgiveness and Love

Loving everything will change everything.

Our very existence is in peril. It is an easy time to dispense blame, and harbour resentment. We hate this person and that person - they are "part of the problem." Any plan or movement based on hate is doomed to produce more of the same, rather than the changes we need.

Some say, "People are destroying the world, and these people have addresses." Is the plan to go out in pitch fork mobs, round 'em up, and make 'em pay? In this scenario hating them is just punishment for their evil doing, and once they are collected up and punished to the full extent of the law, everything will be fine.

It is difficult not to hate perceived wrong doers. It almost feels automatic, which says a lot about our culture. It feels like you are doing something. And you are.

What we do by harbouring hate, and allowing resentment to reside in the heart, is hurt ourselves. It is eating poison and expecting your enemy to die. And if you want to reform your adversary, hate is hardly the tool to get that done.

Author Madame de Stael wrote, “To understand everything makes one tolerant, and to feel deeply inspires great kindness.” In other words, the more we know, the easier we forgive, and the kinder we are toward others. This is because the more we understand, the more we can see that the objects of our hate are mostly just like we are.

In their place, with their experience, would we do anything differently? We think we would, because they are "bad" and we are "good". But sit down with them, and find out they are actually quite human, maybe even nice. The neat boundaries of good vs bad start to get blurry.

If accusation and hate are the problems, then forgiveness and love are the solutions. That does not mean we can't dislike certain situations, but let's propose solutions that come from a different place, and maybe we will get different, more positive results.

We can only do that through practicing forgiveness and love until it becomes our natural default reaction to all situations and people.

Overcoming Resentment and Hate

  • visualize the object of your hate. Send them love.
  • think about the futility and harm that results from taking the poison of hate.
  • real victories come from being understanding, even tempered and loving.
  • don't like someone? Ponder their good points, something you admire about them.
  • develop your patience, quick to listen, slow to judge.
  • forgiveness allows us to enjoy a more pleasant world with less conflict and a more fulfilling experience of those around us.

If your revolution is a "fight" or "war" against someone or something, count me out. If your revolution does not include joyful playing, dancing and singing, count me out.

If your revolution is not coming from a place of forgiveness and love, again, I'm out.









3 comments:

  1. After reading this post yesterday, I've been pondering what to say. To be honest, I struggle with "righteous indignation" at times. I try to be mindful to "Seek not truth, rather cease to cherish opinion" often I fall short. My Quaker ancestors believed that we should see the light in each person and treat them as if that's all we see. Not always easy in the face of bigotry, misogyny and hatefulness that seems to all around. Thank you for the reminder to step back and not give into the hate. I'm going to try to do better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgiveness is hard to do, but pays off for everyone involved. Your ancestors were smart. Our culture is so war and violence focused that hate becomes our default. But we are always looking at the symptoms, never the cause.

      We can turn our dislike towards the conditions that cause people to become bigots, misogynists, or haters, rather than just hate the person. By forgiving we set the conditions for love and caring, things we need a lot more of these days. These address the causes directly, and transform them.

      Delete
  2. AnonymousMay 01, 2016

    Great post, and just what I needed. I found out on friday that my really weird boss has been lying and doing all sorts of stuff because he doesn't want women employes. Appearently his bosses and the union have known this for some time, but nothing can be done. I've felt sad for him for a while because he is such a confused, irrational, fear driven person. Now I'm worried and angry that nobody is willing to take responsibility and help him. The plan is to put pressure on him till he eventually breaks. We really don't know how that will turn out. Anything might happen. And what about his family? BTW I really love the picture. <3

    ReplyDelete

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