The mere idea of oppression, of losing one’s freedom, of being controlled, manipulated or coerced by another in any way is all it takes to get most people riled up. Our media is filled with various articles, editorials, and videos that either describe a tragedy that has already taken place, or suggest that one is about to. The most popular articles are rewritten, re-worded, and regurgitated so much that the gist of the initial article grows and becomes a real threat in a lot of people’s minds. Stories quickly become social media memes designed to attack the perceived oppressor and rally the troops. Most peoples’ days are filled with so much negative information that negativity becomes a pattern of recognition that runs continuously in their minds.
Eventually, most people do become weary of all the yuck and claim they want to escape from all the negativity, but rather than turning off the news on the TV, avoiding all the negative articles, videos or social media memes, they participate and propagate by sharing them on their own personal social media pages, and discussing what they’ve seen, heard or read with everyone they meet. The reality is they are feeding the cloud of negativity that they thought they wanted to escape from and willingly engaging in battles that are chipping away at their inner peace.
Now, of course, everyone should be aware of what is happening in their local communities, their country and maybe even globally, but there is a difference between being aware of what is going on around you, and being immersed in it. One must also remember to carefully consider what they have just read, listened to, or watched, and ask themselves if there might be more information on that topic than was presented. Was the story slanted in such a way to deliberately invoke an emotional response? Tragedy sells and morbid curiosity is a sad but natural human trait. Everyone has the power to choose what they want to watch and read, and can and should limit the amount of negative information they subject themselves to.
All living things are designed to look for anything or anyone that might hurt them – that is survival instinct, but this immersion in complete and total negativity day in and day out is not just looking out for what might hurt us, it already is hurting us. Fear that becomes habit creates problems where there aren’t any. The high amounts of stress that people feel and assume to be a part of every normal life is far from normal. This never ending negative environment perpetuates a hyper-vigilant mindset that eventually, will cause physiological symptoms and a person’s health will pay a hefty price. Emotional and Spiritual imbalances manifest in a variety of ways such as increased anxiety, depression, and mood swings, and these emotional states eventually go on to create physiological symptoms that end up in disease.
Everyone has something they believe in that means enough to them that they are willing to become a temporary activist, but unless there is something that can be personally done to effect long term change about a particular subject, talking about it at every opportunity and sharing every article, video or meme they come across does nothing except feed the inner victim that resides in all of us.
Take responsibility for and make the conscious choice to limit the amount of negative news stories, articles, and videos that you allow yourself to become a part of every day. Ask yourself if you are honestly trying to inform others by sharing stories on your social media page, or if you are feeling the need to complain about something or attack another's beliefs.
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?
Be what it is you want in your life! Lead by example! Everyone does have the power to choose how they want to live their life, but no one said that everyone or anyone has to agree with that choice. If you want others to be tolerant of your differences, be tolerant of theirs. If you want others to be respectful of your choices, be respectful of theirs. It's pretty simple.
Of course, there are instances where some groups will need others to rally on their behalf, be supportive, and at times maybe even help to defend them because they aren’t able to defend themselves. But that does not mean that everyone should feel compelled to go to battle for every group’s cause. Sometimes that kind of battle will only create a bigger wall and further isolate the people you think you are defending, and sometimes a non-issue becomes an issue for no good reason. Support does not necessarily mean that everyone should agree with you or acquiesce to your every demand. There is a difference between being supportive and being subservient.
Take the time to carefully consider what it really is that you believe so strongly in that you would be willing to immerse yourself in negativity and go to battle for. Take the time to take a long hard look at the thing you have placed on your altar and ask yourself if it is really worth risking isolation over just to stand your ground and fight for it. Be honest with yourself, because if you can’t be honest with yourself, how could you possibly be honest with anyone else?
We really do get back what we put out into this world. If you live in peace, you get back peace. If you live in a world filled of negative stories, articles, memes and conversations, you will attract one battle after another into your life.
© 2017 Penny Hodgson. All Rights Reserved