The Positives of Negatives
Take a moment to really consider what causes you to take action. What motivates you to create something new or try something different? What is at the core of your passion? If you're honest with yourself, and you dig deep enough, you'll find that it was something unpleasant.
Pain. Who wants it? Every day the news is filled with stories of the horrible things that people do to one another. The natural response to witnessing aggression and oppression is anger and people are quick to declare: Someone needs to do something! How dare they! We want justice! But it's not justice that anyone seeks, it's punishment because punishment validates the transgression.
Anger is a powerful motivator and one that people do their best to avoid feeling, because if they don't have an alternative or a solution, then what good does allowing the anger to surface do?
Powerlessness. Who wants to feel that? No one wants to admit that they are powerless to stop horrible things from happening to themselves or others, but the truth is, you can't control other people. You are powerless to stop others from behaving badly so, what to do? Shine a light on the bad people through blame and public humiliation, or try to understand how the bad people became so bad, then work toward a solution that will allow for healing?
Maybe the best course of action is to deny. Refuse to allow any negative into your world and that way, you won't have to try to understand because once you understand, you can't blame anymore. Understanding creates an opportunity for you to come up with a solution; to accept responsibility for the knowledge you have obtained.
It's easy to point the finger in the direction of others, but not so easy to accept responsibility.
I was speaking with someone not too long ago about the ever growing divisiveness and the root cause of the lack of cooperation between people. Her immediate response was that people are caught up in 'scarcity thinking'. It's a widely accepted concept among new age thinkers. The idea is that people get caught up in focusing on what they don't have which means they can't see what they do have, and while there is some truth in that, there is also the reality that scarcity exists.
We live in a material world and that alone causes division among people. Class structure exists and to deny that or suggest that people should find a way to settle for what they have only adds fuel to the divisional fire. There are people who are fortunate to have grown up in a home where money was no problem, and on the opposite side, there are people who have grown up in extreme poverty. The haves are quick to suggest the have nots could have had - had they just tried a little harder, but the haves have no idea what it's like for the have nots because they've never experienced that kind of scarcity, nor have they taken the time to understand why the have nots are stuck in the cycle of having not.
When people do take the time to learn why others get stuck in scarcity, the resulting feeling is usually guilt. Guilt is unpleasant, which again presents the problem of accepting responsibility for the knowledge and working to find a solution. When a solution is not immediately evident or beyond one person's ability, blame is sure to follow.
Now, of course there are people who have worked hard and climbed out of scarcity to wealth. These folks are celebrated and used as an example to motivate others, but instead of motivating, it often has the opposite effect. Why? Because people who have lived in generations of scarcity can only see scarcity and suggesting that they could have or should have done better only angers them more.
USE YOUR GIFTS TO EFFECT CHANGE
Change will not happen if you aren't willing to see what is actually in front of you. Acknowledging the negative and working to understand what the root cause of the negative is - that is what gives you power.
Start with you. Acknowledge your own negatives and work to understand how they came to be. When you understand yourself, you are ready to move out into your neighbourhood. When you understand your neighbourhood, move out into your city.
Everyone has gifts. Regardless of circumstance, everyone has something that they are naturally good at. When you become aware of and grateful for your own gifts, you are better at recognizing the gifts of others. Recognizing other people's talents is the beginning of cooperation, and cooperation builds bridges, and bridges mend divisions.
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