I know I’ve mentioned Jen before (Everyone Has a Jen; Everyone Needs a Jen (Why You Shouldn’t Give Up) but I don’t think I mentioned how much she loves Star Wars. Considering this side of her has yet to be introduced to the tribe of world changers at Average Advocate, in combination with the volatile political environment we’re swirling in, it became essential to share her sage Yoda advice, “Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate.”
So without further ado, here is Jen:
With exception of the one Gary Johnson video I posted where he straight up hilariously mocked a marijuana prohibitionist, I have stayed silent during this election. Instead of posting and arguing and insulting I sat back and listened. I watched. I stepped in only twice when people were attacked to fight back with my words because the accusations and statements people made were without empathy or understanding.
I have not stayed silent because I didn’t have an opinion, but because I found it more important to continue to understand and to observe before I made a statement. I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, so it makes things interesting.
The past couple days I’ve also had several other discussions about the (HUGE) difference between hate and righteous anger. Between participating in something and actually DOING something. Between the difference between making a point and standing for what you believe in and having empathy and understanding that your story is different than others stories and experiences.
Here’s what I’ve observed. All sides have lacked some serious empathy. All sides have allowed emotions, mainly fear, to drown out everything else. And for the most part, folks have stopped listening.
In martial arts today Yoda got quoted (see below) and it really struck a chord with me. Too many people have let fear to turn to anger. And that anger has been boiling over to hate. And then this post popped up in my feed today. If there’s something I’ve learned in *my* life, it’s that this is true: Fear is a choice. This is not to say that DANGER is not real. It is very real. But fear is a product of thoughts that you create and allow.
So, I could be much more long-winded here, but I wish we could work on our fears. I wish we could LISTEN when others speak about what they see as a danger to themselves and their children. I hope that this year we all can have a little more empathy for one another, and take a moment to stop when someone is reacting with fear-based anger to try to understand before we judge. It’s so easy to judge, dismiss and write off people who aren’t of the same thought as us.
It’s better to go the harder route and put our assumptions aside and just shut up and listen in an effort to understand. We don’t always have to agree. In fact, that’s boring. But we should try to steer clear of allowing ourselves to become so filled with fear (and/or smugness) that we end up on the dark side.
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