give peace a chance

Kindness Fridays

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I’m really going in a different direction with this week’s post, so bear with me.

A person can’t live in this world without being personally offended or attacked for any number of reasons, whether founded or unfounded, countless times during the course of his life.

In this world, there exists those whose modus operandi is to criticize others, bring others down, make fun of them, even bully them. The person with that MO may have any number of “reasons” why he or she acts that way, but none of those reasons are justified, plain and simple.

What do we do when someone acts that way toward us? I know how we feel, we feel hurt and angry; we feel we must be on the defensive and maybe we even want to dish out the same pain, or worse, than what was inflicted on us. A defensive action, however, turns us into someone no better than the person who lashed out at us; we join their ranks.

When an unkindness is said or done to us, the higher road is to not respond in kind. By that I mean maybe it’s better we don’t go on the defensive, we don’t fight fire with fire. Oh, let me tell you, the base part of our character wants to let loose with our own brand of meanness, but each and every one of us has the ability to choose a contrary response. Each. And. Every. One. Of. Us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you lavish the offender with peace, love, and happiness – there are very few of us who could pull that off – but what I am saying is that we can choose to stay silent. We can walk away – both figuratively and physically – and leave that person to wallow in the slime they just created.

I learned long ago, that if someone yells at me and I choose not to yell back, their fire goes out. If I don’t feed their anger, it has nowhere to go but down. Quite frankly, my decision to walk away hurts that person far worse than any words I could ever spew back. I guess sometimes you just have to kill them with kindness.

Just. Walk. Away.

A call for peace

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November 24, 2014 violence. After a night of violence across the nation, including in my own city of Seattle, Washington, I searched for some encouragement that might help put out the fires of hatred, and send energy into the universe to prevent those fires from ever burning again.

Peace DoveNobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel provided that much-needed respite.

Mr. Wiesel knows a little bit about hatred and suffering.  He was held captive at Auschwitz and survived.

Of his relatives, only he and two of his sisters survived.

The following quote is from his book, Forgotten.

As a human race, we must choose between: the violence of adults, and the smiles of children; the ugliness of hate, and the will to oppose it; inflicting suffering and humiliation on our fellow man, and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves for naught.

Even in darkness, it is possible to create light, and encourage compassion.  Every moment of our life is essential; every gesture is essential.  Our role in life is to give an offering to each other.