Conflict and Compassion
My deepest sadness is knowing that despite some progress humans are innately fickle beings with a penchant for forgetfulness. As a result we condemn ourselves to repeat violent and destructive histories. If only we could see past the construction of “us” and “them”. Ultimately, our best armor against hate is to never forget the horror we are all capable of contributing to. It is up to us to pledge to remember the destructive nature of hate and anger and combat it with compassionate questioning that holds us accountable to our beliefs and the actions they lead to. If we question each other we can challenge one another to look deeply at our own beliefs and answer the “why” we believe what we do. In doing so we can question the very nature of what we believe divides us. Perhaps then we can begin to see the humanity in each of us and recognize our common experiences. We all suffer and know what it is like to suffer. Let that unite us in making the world a better place rather than water seeds of bitterness and blame.
These ideas are much easier to conceive then to live. It is uncomfortable for us, for me, to ask difficult questions and to do so with compassion. It is easier to hide or shy away from what makes us uncomfortable and conflict, I believe, makes most uncomfortable. But what if we didn’t see differing world views as conflict, what if we saw them as an opportunity to enlighten each other to another way of seeing the world. What if each of our viewpoints offered each other a piece of wisdom we wouldn’t learn any other way. Now this idealistic, I know, it takes all sides being open to a conversation and more importantly to admit that our viewpoint isn’t “whole” or “right” or “wrong” but simply what it is, a viewpoint. But perhaps with time if each of us can embody this approach and encourage others to do the same the world will be less full of conflict, hatred, violence, and perhaps war.
I believe these conversations can empower our capacity for human connection. And I believe our only hope for a better world is our human connection, because when we question each other compassionately we can connect with one another dismantling barriers of “us” and “them”, strengthening our capacity for empathy and altruism, and building a world where hatred, anger and blame hold less power. When we connect with one another what we perceive as divisions are dismantled through conversations that hold the capacity to unite us. But first we must all be brave and engage with the world from a place of compassion. We cannot ask the world to be kind, if we are not kind. We cannot ask the world to be peaceful if we are not peaceful. We must lead by example when we engage each other. Perhaps with just this simple idea we can begin to change the world.
...its about the journey...
Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.