Monday, May 17, 2010

Changing the world

The world can be a rough place, people cut us off on the road, we are not given the respect we think we deserve, and people give us dirty looks or yell at us. What can we do about this, how can we change it? All we can do is not add to it. To do this we must be kind to others.

Being kind to others is easy in theory but not always in practice. We understand how we want to be treated and that others should be treated in the same way we hope that they treat us. The hard part is we need to remember that the cranky people we meet are still people. There are things in their life that make them angry and grumpy. Most likely they cannot change even if they wanted too because they give anger in to the world and that is all they get back. Our kindness can be a light for them, to show them they is another way to be me. The same is true for those who lash out from fear, hurt or sadness. Most of the time they have been treating the world in one way for so long that all they get back from the world is more of the same.

This does not mean you will treat a jerk with kindness and the next day they will be a wonderful person. Instead just as we work hard on changing ourselves we might spark the desire to change in another. But even if we do not reap the rewards of a nicer world our selves it is still worth treating others with the respect, compassion and honor that we wish we would be treated with.

Remeber that others hurt and fear and grieve and all of this will make them or us for that matter lash out. We can not make them lay down their lash but we can choose to put ours aside. In this way we can sooth the anger, fear and rage that afflict our society one person at a time.