In the face of a tragedy, we often feel powerless. We fumble for the cause, the reason, and often something or someone to blame. Uncertain of our role, we ask “What can I do?” then falter at the silence that follows.
What can we do? What is our role?
Each and every one of us is responsible. Responsible not only for ourselves, but for our impact on this world. With this in mind, one of the biggest ways we can show up for this world is to create it how we want it to be, by being what we want. As Mahatma Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” So, if we want peace, we need to be peaceful. If we want tolerance, we need to be more tolerant and understanding.
It’s easy to be jaded and guarded when it seems we may be powerless against others. However, if each of us accepted and acted upon this divine responsibility, injustice and malice would quickly become intolerable and eventually obsolete.
Children have to be taught to hate. They have to be bred in ignorance and intolerance. It is not their natural way of being. However when faced with the reality of their experience as constructed by the adults in their world, they quickly adapt to what is more acceptable in their family and community.
This is where our beingness comes in. If we become more mindful with our words and actions, do our best to understand, or at least accept others, and express kindness in the world, the children will gladly follow our lead. Want to make an impact? Be a better person, so the kids can grow into the adults we wish them to be.
Don’t understand someone’s religious beliefs? Ask them. It’s easier than resorting to assumptions and generalities, and it’s much less harmful. Assumptions and generalities turn into rumors, which spread vastly in today’s social media.
I say that if we could just have the world leaders sit together in a sandbox, the majority of the world’s challenges would be solved right there.
Be responsible for you, your judgments and actions. Then, take that responsibility further. Remember, not taking any action is often as bad as taking wrong action. If there is injustice, how does it serve the world to sit in silence, or share opinions in confinement? The world need you, ALL of you. There are enough multi-faceted issues in the world that require broader, collective solutions. Be a part of the solution.
“Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.”
— Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem for a Dream
Extend yourself into the world. What can you do to make the world the way you wish it to be?