The beauty about solving the world’s problems is that you don’t have to be rich, famous, or running for president to do so — all these people propound, and often push through, their ideas, which ultimately don’t work any better than what the dog offers.
So I’ll toss in my input, especially valuable because I’m ordinary, relatively unknown, and not running for president, so it’s not as if I’m going to be making money on my suggestions.
Three key elements:
1) Treat others fairly — whether it’s a business or personal relationship.
2) Show compassion — we can give up our right to be right all the time, and sometimes, even when someone wrongs us (by violating Element #1), we let it go. And not just on the physical plane — give it up mentally as well, and quit thinking about it.
3) Stop thinking that we’re so incredibly incredible, and embrace that we are each an ordinary, standard model human being, just like the 7 billion others on the planet.
These three amazingly simple steps are so complicated that they’ll keep all of us well occupied for the rest of our lives, and if enough of us try to do them, well then, the world may look like a little different, little better place.
Not being as naive as I look like I am, I do, of course, recognize a major impediment in that there are a number of people out there who have absolutely no intention of following any of the three steps, and indeed, do everything in their considerable power to perform the opposite. But, as our mothers used to say, that’s no excuse.
Just because they’re vermin, doesn’t mean that we have to be.
And lest I be accused of drawing upon some Holy Book for these steps, mea culpa — but does it matter? Any Holy Book or belief system worth its Himalayan Sea Salt (this stuff is amazing; and its PINK!) embraces these three concepts. Even if we believe that our 38th cousin, two million years removed, walked around on its knuckles and grunted, surely we accept that there’s nothing particularly special about us that warrants our grasping special treatment that we deny to others?
But that’s the problem, isn’t it. We’re human, we each live in a soft, fleshy shell that’s remarkably sensitive to being poked, prodded, or jabbed, and it’s a major goal to ensure that the environment around that soft fleshy shell is as cushy as we can make it.
Take me, for example — and I really don’t want to discuss the soft fleshy shell part in any more detail, thank you. There is this Person, who, years ago, offended me to the point that I no longer wanted to be in this Person’s presence.
It’s not so much that I run when this Person is in the vicinity (bad tactic, by the way — you always lose when you’re on the defensive), as that I think twice before I find myself in situations where this Person will be breathing the same air in my room. Fortunately, we have little in common, so when we meet in the grocery store or the library, we give those brittle smiles that people who can’t stand one another give, and move on.
But I couldn’t get this Person out of my mind, and was especially irritated because this Person’s life seems to be going so well, and I really would prefer that it not do so — nothing too dramatic, mind you, but just enough to cause a general sense of desultory dissonance and despair.
And then, one day I thought about how this Person would be in a different situation — if this Person realized the errors of its ways and amended. I would actually like this Person then, because of a number of fine, upstanding, warm, funny and wonderful qualities, which just happen to be hidden from me in our relationship with one another.
But it changed my outlook, and I let this Person go. In my mind I treated this Person fairly, the way I would want to be treated myself (Element #1). I gave up my right to be offended (Element #2). I told myself that my feelings, my thoughts, my hurts, weren’t the only ones that mattered (Element #3).
One person down. Six billion plus to go.
(By the way, the three simple steps can be found, in more sophisticated form, in Micah 6:8 of the Bible, but as I mentioned before, they’re pretty fundamental to goodness and truth, so any system propounding these elements should have something of the sort.)
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The three little steps–so simple, so dastardly difficult. I like your “desultory dissonance and despair” …been there, myself.
Scrap of paper on my wall: Great Faith Great Doubt Great Effort –Buddhist guidance
Well, done, Carolyn. Thanks! Candace Rose Walla Walla
Thank you, Candace. I like your scrap of paper — wisdom indeed. Three more simple steps that will take a lifetime to work on!