Saturday, January 17, 2015

Don't we ever get tired?

I know we're all tired.

Tired of tragedy. Tired of opening the paper and reading about the latest sad news. Tired of anger, tired of fear, tired of frustration, tired of crying, tired of banging against the same walls. Tired of shitty people and shitty things.

Even the most positive among us can find themselves drained at the end of the day.

So what happens when we bump up against something that makes us feel any of those things?

We rally, we rant, we name call, we point fingers, we make fun, we call for pain and punishment, we bring our own baggage to the table, we make people our cause to forward our own agendas, we project, we make people front page news who don't want to be and we let people be front page news when they don't deserve to be.

We stop listening to each other and forget that at the core, we often agree. We stop putting ourselves in other people's shoes. We stop seeing people and just see threats.

We forget that no one's story is the same as ours. No struggle, no need, no experience (no matter how similar) is exactly the same as ours. No reaction has to be exactly the same as ours.

We turn into the people we are rallying against. But it's ok because we know we're right.

Which is exactly what they think too.

Instead of looking inward at how we can do better, we demand that other people do better.

Instead of looking at how we can fix things, we demand that other people do.

We are more connected than ever and more disconnected than ever. With ourselves and with everyone around us.

I am tired.

The other day, while doing unavoidable monitoring of social media for work, I finally cracked as I watched a heated debate, that made news, regarding who in the city was more negative. Mocking and heated discussion ensued.

That's what we're debating now. Who is more negative, and whether it's our right to be.

As that rallied on, I watched someone else essentially demand that we all know everything, about everyone and everything, immediately, all the time. Quite obviously forgetting that sometimes due course and silence protect the innocent, not just the guilty.

But it was ok, because they meant well, forgetting they had an obvious agenda.

In between these petty debates was the tragedy we have all watched unfold, all over the world, every day. For months. For years.

I am tired.

In the history of man kind, we have fought and fought and fought.

And it has solved nothing. We are still having the same fights. A few surface issues have seemingly been solved but the root problems still fester just below the surface.

Why? Because we forget to start with ourselves. We never question what we are bringing to the table. We forget to look at the big picture.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

And we've been doing the same thing for a very long time.

We can watch a man tweet and play tunes on the guitar from space, but we can't creatively come up with better ways to get along, to solve our problems, to hear each other, to support each other, to heal each other.

We can't hold a door, share a smile, say something nice, make someone laugh. Forgive. Because we think that forgiveness is weak. That it only benefits the person you're forgiving.

Those small things are what add up to make change.

Listening, showing empathy, compassion, a sense of humour, becoming an example of what we want others to be.

I am tired.

So I am changing what I put into the world. When I speak, when I write, when I post or when I tweet.

When my first reaction is negative, I am walking away until I can think of a better way. And if I can't offer a solution, than I am not contributing to the problem.

Don't get me wrong. I am far from preaching. Read a few past blog posts and you'll see how quickly  I can let my emotions get the best of me. I can be angry. I can be mean. Because I am human and it's far easier to be those things in the short term.

I'm not going to try to get everyone to hug and make up, because that's not real. Holding hands and singing kumbuya is not real. Constant positivity is not real. Not feeling is not real.

There will always be crazy people, crazy events, sadness, tragedy.

But I can change how I react to it. What I bring to it. Whether I contribute to it. Whether I make it better or I make it worse.

I can change whether I make a person laugh in the run of a day, or whether I make them hurt.

I can take a page out the history books from those who did make change without violence. Without anger. Without becoming what they rallied against.

It's a learning process. It's a daily endeavor. It takes effort and work and it's not easy. Sadly, it doesn't always come naturally. But I am tired and I don't believe that we have any other choice.

So what will you put into the world today?

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