As many people are aware, there is increasing civil unrest in America as some very controversial decisions are being made by their new political leader. Many people are angry and many people are fearing for what the future may hold under this regime. Protests are happening all over the country, with people instigating organised “campaigns of resistance” in defiance of the decisions that are being made at the top level.
A lot can be learned from observing proceedings in the USA, especially the behaviour of the protesters and campaigners, and the language being used on the banners and placards that many of them display. These are people who want peace, justice and fairness, but are they really going about it the right way?
When we feel an injustice is being done, it is human nature to become angry about it because we are inherently caring and fair creatures. But the anger that arises must be channelled intelligently into a passion for solving the problem in the most effective way. Emotion has to be tempered by intelligence and wisdom if real solutions are to be found amongst challenging circumstances. If raw emotions are simply vented, or used as the foundations for an opposing movement, you simply have a state of conflict that is far more likely to encourage greater division and hostility than peace and resolution. And peace and resolution are what everybody is actually aiming for. So how are they obtained?
It was Mahatma Gandhi who said that we must “be the change that we wish to see in the world”, and we all want to see a more peaceful world, free of inequality and conflict, anger and hatred. So our priority must be to ensure that we are not playing host to any of these qualities ourselves, otherwise we will simply encourage their presence in the world around us.
A peaceful person, free of anger and free of the desire to fight will not instigate or escalate hostility in any way. Quite the opposite in fact. They will radiate a sense of harmlessness, friendliness and gentleness that will be felt in a very tangible way by the people around them. Many people might judge these qualities as soft or weak, but the sense of peacefulness they encourage is absolutely vital, especially in circumstances where there is unrest and volatility among large groups of people. If such peaceful attitudes are not encouraged, then violence and suffering are almost inevitable, and this is very sad because they really can be avoided.
Each of us has the power to contribute a more peaceful and ‘hostility-free’ attitude towards our environment, towards the people we engage with, and even towards political leaders and groups of people who we will never come into contact with. Everything we think and feel is added to the ‘collective consciousness’ of humanity, and it either adds to the pressure, or relieves it to a degree. And not only that, but more importantly for us we are not experiencing destructive emotions and states of mind that influence the way we perceive the world. We really can be free of fear, judgement, hostility, conflict, isolation and suffering, just by being very careful about what we think, what opinions we form and what emotions we encourage within our body. Thoughts of conflict, of “them and us”, of anger and hatred simply create a reality of conflict within our mind and our body, which is highly destructive for us.
At this time in the Earth’s history, we are being called forth to demonstrate our peace-loving nature, which is a very noble state of consciousness, and much needed on this planet. It is easy in this world to be reactive and judgemental, and for many people it comes automatically. But as we watch our mental and emotional choices more carefully, we see that there is another option. We must strive to feed the more compassionate part of our nature, our heart, which recognises that every human is struggling to some degree. Even those in high positions of power who are making decisions that affect millions of people. This is no easy task. To be a leader of millions of people requires immense inner strength and courage. If some of the more noble personality traits are not present, the individual will inevitably choose the path of least resistance, which is to fulfil the national political agenda of creating a greater sense of national security, identity and prosperity, which is often illusory.
So how can a leader really make a difference? He must be an example. If a nation is to be a peaceful nation, it requires a truly peaceful leader. This is absolutely essential. If a leader is bullish and aggressive, there is bound to be a reaction amongst the people, who simply respond towards him and his administration with the same aggressive attitude that is being demonstrated. There is a revolt, a counter-movement of resistance, exactly as we are witnessing in the USA right now.
Aggression begets aggression. Peace begets peace.
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