It’s not like we haven’t already greatly suffered, as individuals and as a country, from the devastating effects of a world-wide pandemic that’s killed more than 100,000 people so far in just in the US. Not only has it virtually brought our economy, businesses and opportunity to earn an honest daily living to a grinding halt, but severely limited our ability to just live life “as usual”.
Now, apparently, there are a few across this country that feel the need to take what’s already one of the most devastating world-wide events in the last 100+ years and make it even worse.
To those that attempted to protest peacefully, I applaud them. I'm always more willing to hear and embrace a message when it's done respectfully.
But, to those that took it in the direction of hatred and destruction,
their actions only invite further devastation with rippling effects that travel far beyond any intended target and injuring the innocent.
The constitutional right to free speech was never meant to give free rein to a person to destroy another’s home or business or put others at physical risk in the process.
Yes, our justice system is broken and it needs to be fixed, but there's a more effective way to get there.
So, how does it get this bad? Why does this escalate to actions that can’t be undone?
There are plenty of sources to look to. Our social beliefs and how they affect the way we process our world is one example. So are our personal stories and how we were individually taught to manage life challenges. Usually, though, the anger is fueled more vehemently when a problem is left unacknowledged and unsolved for a long time, as it has in this instance.
Each of these are contributors to the actions we witnessed this past week. But, there’s an even more ground level answer behind every personal action that we, or others, take.
It’s our inability to understand that behind any action a person takes, it started out as a simple thought. Thoughts then create energy and emotion. Good or bad, that energy has to go somewhere.
The energy can be positive and lead a person to act in the direction of healing by finding proactive solutions that serve the greater good or... energy can be negative and acted out destructively.
So, what makes a person choose a negative thought over a positive one?
It varies according to that person’s emotional perspective, or lens, and how they use it to view their world. If they see the world as a cruel and inequitable place that lacks opportunity or love, they often will willingly and repeatedly default to thoughts that support that perspective and act from there. It's self-fulfilling prophecy at its worst.
But, no matter who the person is or the conditions they came from, they always have a choice.
There are plenty of people throughout history that had every reason to hate and consider the world a vile and unwelcome place. Viktor Frankle, the celebrated Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who wrote the life-changing book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ is an excellent example. What about South Africa’s political and social game-changer Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr. who lost his life in the fight to end rascim.
All three men endured hardships, injustices and/or immense loss. Yet, they chose to construct a life around thoughts that generated hope, positive energy and action. Their unwavering efforts ultimately led them to achieve profound social and political changes that many thought were impossible aspirations.
Each man demonstrated his extraordinary spirit through deliberate and focused intention, understanding the power behind their thoughts, then actively choosing the kind of energy needed for empowered action.
Each of us has that ability.
There are no social, racial, religious, political or regional limitations that have absolute power over how we perceive our thoughts at any moment. There are influences, yes, but in the end, we each have the individual ability to control the direction of our thoughts, beliefs and intentions.
We don’t have to be statesmen, religious leaders or wartime survivors to be conscious of the choices we make in our thoughts or the type of energy they generate.
Now is the time for us to collectively choose which source we want to consistently live our lives by. Do we want to live with tolerance, patience and open-mindedness? Or do we want to live in hate, anger and active intolerance of others?
So, the next time you feel angry or frustrated over an issue, whether it’s within your own home or a political, social or national issue that’s getting you riled, take a moment and ask yourself which energetic path you want to fuel your actions going forward?
Do you want to make a positive difference through peaceful, but deliberate action or choose an act of destruction just to appease your anger? And by the way, you can be just as destructive by an angry and aggressive written word as by torching a car.
It’s not always easy to take the higher road, especially when you are suffering from immense pain, loss or hardship. But, it can be done.
If there is going to be positive change, and I have to believe that there has to be, I know that it won’t be created from a night of chaotic, smoke-filled, bottle-throwing citizens screaming at each other on some city street.
We’re better than that!
But, it can only happen one person at a time, one thought at a time and one action at a time, until we look up and realize that we aren’t alone in our desire for change, but truly a collective that can create it through deliberate and respectful action.
If you think you need a little extra coaching help to address ways you can change the energy behind your thoughts, I'm here to help! I conduct coaching sessions by phone or by Zoom session to ensure the health and safety of my clients. In addition, I’m offering a 25% off per any session you book by the end of June. Just use the code freshstart25 when you book and pre-pay for any session.
To schedule, go to https://www.turningpointscoaching.com/book-online
In the meantime, stay safe, stay strong and stay healthy!