Something’s been shifting in me for a while and it has to do with my tolerance for violence, real or implied. I have no tolerance for it any more.
When I encounter it, my heart finds it so unbearable that it cringes. It draws back.
I want to cover my ears. Close my eyes. Click off.
Every day we encounter small and large acts of violence that we take for granted. That feeling of irritation or even rage when someone cuts us off on the road. Those rants when someone does something dumb or hurtful. The way we slash the earth by clear cutting forests. The manner in which we treat our environment. Cruelty to animals. Violent games and movies. All part of our lives.
Start noticing the brutal ways we speak. Write. And think.
I follow a website that has a violent name. I like the writer but I wince every time I see the name of the website. Which is very popular. Very. But now, my tolerance level for even words that assault us is….well, I have none. No tolerance at all.
Look around. It can be a brutal world. It is definitely a violent one.
We think we’re powerless to change it, but actually we’re not. We could replace savage acts and brutal words with kindness and compassion. If we wished.
“A human being is part of the whole we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison, by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature.” ~Albert Einstein
We don’t normally think of Albert Einstein as a purveyor of love and compassion or a New Age thinker. But he was a brilliant man whose thoughts ranged further than science and math. He, too, knew that love and compassion are powerful and that if individuals expanded their span of compassion the world would change.
Einstein knew that all works of love are works of peace. That change happens one person at a time.
So, what if we all became intolerant of violence?
If we stopped using violent and combative words and themes? What if we stopped going to those movies? Or buying–or even making –those video games?
What if we made an effort to add more compassion and service to our daily lives? What if we reached out to the world and embraced it, starting with our own sphere of influence?
One person at a time, one tiny step at a time we can change our own lives and together, shift the world. Remember that old slogan, think globally, act locally? That’s where it begins. At the individual level.
What if we did?
The possibilities are …awe-inspiring.