Every time you argue with someone, get angry or aggressive, shout at them, oppose yourself to them in a state of hostility, or even just think hostile thoughts about them, you are contributing something which is very subtlety destructive to humanity and to the planet, in a way that pushes us collectively in the opposite direction of peace.
In those moments, your behaviour and your state of mind are part of humanity’s problem, rather than part of the solution. The problem is of course conflict and hostility, which we should know by now resolves absolutely nothing and just creates more pain, suffering and division. The solution to this problem is known by all of us in our heart, but we often feel too stubborn or proud to implement it.
It is of course the courage to choose peace and humility; the willingness to back down from a conflict and say “Let’s not go there. What I think is not so important that it is worth fighting about.” Because so often it is our stubbornness, our persistence in our belief that we are right and that we must prove we are right, which perpetuates conflict of varying degrees. And once insults start being thrown, minor conflicts can take on a fiery life of their own. Aggression arises from a place deep within us that we thought no longer existed, or perhaps which we thought we have mastered.
Vitriol bubbles up, fire and anger take us over, and the desire to hurt or humble the other(s) involved becomes our priority. We become possessed by a fierceness which we know is destructive, but we stop caring because of the feeling of power that now flows through us. That feeling of power is like an entity that possesses us.
We have to be willing to admit to ourselves that venting our frustration and anger, and thus alleviating a deep sense of powerlessness (which a great many people hold subconsciously) actually feels very good on some level. But a deeper inner wisdom should remind us of the destructive consequences of doing so.
Hostile exchanges can certainly leave our ego feeling boosted or smugly self-righteous if we feel we have ‘won’ them, or they can leave us seething and feeling deeply enraged if we feel we have ‘lost’ them, but it is clear that peace is no-where to be found in the aftermath of such an episode. Just observe people who get into an argument, and watch how it ends. Usually bitterly, with resentment and perhaps even hatred intensifying in both parties, and with some form of damage done. Unless of course someone has been mature enough and wise enough to back down, to withdraw and refrain from adding further fuel to the fire of conflict.
Because this is what is needed from us all. We have to practice being more mature, more wise in our communications, with our opinions and the way that we share them. If we notice our ego rising in response to another person’s opinion or their confrontational manner of communicating, we have to remember where things will lead if we respond in the same way. We have to remember that it is we who are responsible for averting the conflict, not them, and we do this by ceasing to feed an attitude of opposition.
We often think about the other person “I know for sure that you are in the wrong here. You should admit it and back down” but that attitude never, ever works in ending conflict. As a mature and intelligent person, we must take responsibility for ensuring that no more fuel is added to the fire with our own words. We must realise where things could be heading if we carry on arguing, and avert it at all costs to our precious ego. Our ego is the least important thing in such a situation.
Averting further conflict is actually easily done, but it can only be achieved by letting go of our ego; the part of us that thinks we are right, that we should correct and educate the other person, and perhaps even give them a taste of their own medicine. This attitude simply does not work. Instead, we have to pour water on the fire of conflict if we wish to act as a peace-maker. The ego is incapable of doing this, but our heart knows how to: through humility.
We have to avert the escalation of conflict, by being intelligent enough to say “look, this is really not worth fighting about. I don’t want to fight with you. I want peace.” It does take great humility to do this, and great awareness to see how such a situation can so easily evolve when our opinions are at play, and then to divert the course of the interaction when you are in the midst of a heated exchange.
The ability and willingness to do this is one of the greatest gifts we can bring into the sphere of collective communication. The ego must be put aside if peace is to flourish in our communications. We can of course disagree, but respectfully, without needing to resort to insulting the perspective or the intelligence of whoever we are disagreeing with. And of course, we should never seek disagreement.
We should be seeking to broaden our understanding, to practice our listening, and to deepen our humility. If we disagree strongly with someone and it makes us angry, then often the best course of action to turn our attention elsewhere. Communications which are initiated angrily are doomed to propagate hostility and conflict, and we do not need any more of this in our lives, and in the world.
If the opinions or actions of other people fill you with anger, and you believe your purpose is to correct them, to fight against them, to right all the wrongs in the world, you will find yourself living your life in a near-constant state of anger and injustice, feeling triggered and indignant; constantly battling those who you believe to be wrong. If you want peace to propagate in society, it is wiser and infinitely more effective to demonstrate it through your own words and actions. Be a model of tolerance and patience; a model of intelligence and wisdom.
Yes, there are a great many people with disturbing and problematic beliefs, but it is not wise to make them into your enemy, because to oppose is actually to strengthen. Instead, share what you perceive to be a wiser perspective, a more evolved and intelligent approach to solving our collective problems – one that does not involve conflict – and then all people will be drawn to your message, including those very ones who may hold disturbing or problematic beliefs, because on the deepest level everyone is seeking the light of wisdom.
We should all know by now that you cannot change people in a positive way by fighting with them. You can crush them, you can destroy their spirit, but something inside of you would be lost to the darkness as a result. No, you must encourage and invite people to want to change, by offering a wiser and more mutually beneficial perspective, that even the most stubborn and closed-minded of people cannot turn away from. That is your challenge in this age of communication. Keep your peace and share your peaceful temperament with others, because it is the only way we will move forward…
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