Sunday, July 31, 2011

Peace Without Apology

I periodically notice some people exhibiting signs of annoyance with me, and in some cases, even agitation, when I choose not to join the band wagon of complaints, worry and attack of a perceived enemy in reaction to local and world events. It seems, my positive attitude and approach can be disturbing to others that choose a different path. Although I notice the reaction of some of my friends, I will not apologize for being at peace. 

Thankfully, how we each deal with the issues of life is a personal choice. My preference is to stay aligned with joy and sustain peace "within" regardless of what may be showing up in the "outside" world. When I have been hooked by anger and then acted out with righteous indignation (even in cases when it appeared I was victimized) my negative emotions never improved the situation in question. What is especially true is that acting out in anger has never....repeat... NEVER made me feel better. I understand some of my fellow humans are convinced that their anger spurs them on to correct a set things right, and that vindication and revenge feels good. Perhaps that is true for them. I just don't choose to roll like that. 

What I find to be a particularly interesting comparison is that I may even choose to take the same steps that those on the fist pumping side of the line may take when an injustice occurs. I make phone calls, write emails and sign petitions to inform my elected officials of what I believe, although what I say in a letter may differ from others. I don't sugar coat situations, but I avoid attacks. I write letters to the editor in support of that which I want to see more of, rather than complain about what should stop. I donate money to causes that support peace rather than destruction. I read articles that support peaceful solutions that are in alignment with my beliefs, rather than feed myself with more news and reports that stimulate hateful actions. Although many of us may take the same stand and in some cases even actions, how we feel in the process of creating change can vary greatly. 

Although I understand when people get hooked by an issue many are looking for others to join in the fight believing there is power in numbers, I am very careful with whom I will stand. Watching how the political parties work in our country are a great example of how fear is used to create a movement against the enemy (enemies vary depending on the issue). Bottom line...I resist jumping on a wagon that is destined for perpetrating a movement fueled by fear. 

What I have trained myself to do instead, is to keep my intention on creating a positive outcome. Rather than keeping my focus on battling a wrong, I simply keep my vision on what I want to see created instead. I have heard the story that Mother Teresa was once asked to march in an anti-war rally. She informed the activist inviting her that she would not rally against war, but she would be happy to rally for peace. This simple statement has been a tremendous  inspiration for the way I choose to live.

So which perspective is most productive in the end? The good news is we each get to decide. I will continue to choose a peaceful response since I know my creativity in problem solving, my effectiveness to create positive change and my ability to encourage others to show up at their best occurs when I stand in the light not the dark. 


Frank Salatino said...

Sometimes it is much easier to give in to our angry and frustration, especially when others are trying to get us to join them. It is much harder to do what you do.

Keep it up Kate!

Kate Sholonski (moderator) said...

I agree, Frank. It can be tempting to join the angry "mob" especially when someone or something is being harmed. We are so susceptible to fear that when we get hooked, it can really grip us. My practice calls me to focus on the "love" for that which I want to protect. I'm still practicing.....we are never done.