It’s true. The world and it’s people don’t need another opinion, emotional tantrum or rant. We don’t need self-indulgent stars setting horrible examples for kids who are addicted to social media, and to the very glamour stars bring to it. We don’t need leaders who abandon their constituents for political gain, only to use their abandonment as a platform to expound their tales of woe.
Kids today coerce each other into suicide, self harm, shooting dope, and to cheat, lie and steal. Stars advocate violence against elected officials and think they are setting good examples as “awake” people. I guess the rest of us must be sleeping? Most recently, we have the Harvey Weinstein saga, the Las Vegas shooting, the spreading threat of terrorism and a lack of human empathy.
We live in a society where it is not only acceptable to attack someone whose views are different than the norm, it is celebrated. Who others say we should be is more important than who we actually are.
As a result, many of us end up shells of what used to be decent people, ruined by bad behavior. We have a generation of kids who are now having to be taught empathy in schools. Think about that for a minute.
Instead of making changes to better their own lives, unhappy people instead thrive on bringing others down. It happens to me all the time. Here’s the thing, they only affect me when I allow it.
After years of getting beat up by social media, posting things I shouldn’t have, I’ve learned restraint. I limit my time online. I don’t have cable, eliminating the possibility of watching the news. I read it instead. I severly limit the time I spend in the company of negative people. I try to avoid it completely, but it doesn’t always work.
What I do instead is write. And practice loving others, even those whose views are 100% opposite of mine. I do these things because we share this world together. More than this, we all share the same divine spark inside us, billions of God-lit fires, each individually only a pinprick in the darkness. Bring our light together and we change the world. We are connected. When I hurt you, I hurt me and everyone else.
Rather than fighting ourselves and everyone else, we need to practice is the art of making amends. An amend is not simply an apology. It’s admitting when we are in the wrong and are willing to change our behaviors. An amend is categorized by Merriam Webster as a noun. Making an amend implies action.
The trick with making an amends is pretty simple. You only have to make an amend with someone if you wrong them.
When we police our own thoughts, attitudes and actions, we become mindful of how we approach people and what flows from us in word and deed.
This practice becomes routine and we each of us who are making a serious effort, soon realize the world and it’s people no longer control us.
For now, just try to get started. I follow three basic criteria to police my words. I can’t always help what thoughts show up in my head, but I certainly can control my mouth.
When I am not sure about what I want to say, I ask myself, “Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?” If it’s not, I keep it to myself until I can share it with my mentor or a trusted friend.
There is a place and time for everything. My mentor often reminds me to dump my things on her, so I don’t on others, especially my husband and my kids. They, like everyone else, don’t need to know how I feel when I’m at the end of my rope.
Share your good and save your bad for your coach or mentor. When you stop giving negativity room in your life, it will one day quiet down on its own. And those around you feeding off of it will fade away.
Originally published at medium.com