I surmise that we ignore some of the evil in the world that we witness in the media or firsthand because we cannot actually conclude that someone… anyone, could be so radically motivated to hate someone else without any tangible reason. We are baffled that someone could feel so much hatred as to take the innocent lives of children attending schools, or that simply due to one’s beliefs, others have condemned them on behalf of their own. The rational sit in awe of the dysfunctional irrational, and the yin stands in disbelief of the yang.
Recently I have found myself in a regression of sorts, wherein I am having a hard time separating myself from the illusion that presents itself as an obstacle. I realized during this odd period in my life, that I have made a miscalculation in attempting to live only as though I should love every person actively, in that I have remained passively quiet in an attempt to be loved by everyone. What a strange consideration, I thought to myself…. that is, that I may have the ability within me to love as any religious figure, teacher, or guide has throughout history, without being passive and allowing others to trespass my life and my peace.
Recent considerations have made this idea abundantly clear to me, in that during the process of showing someone they are wrong, that they clearly made a mistake, that neglect was clearly administered objectively, we can almost guarantee to offend them even when our intentions are pure and believed to be for the greatest possible good — that the opposing party won’t always interpret it that way… in fact, they almost certainly never will.
The opposing party will often throw your words back into your face, and they may take a primitive, egotistical, survival-based approach to their criticism, especially if they have yet to sit with themselves and accept that imperfection is itself, perfection. If the mistake shown was great enough, they may even go to great lengths to sabotage your namesake to protect their own, without taking a deep enough breath to realize the solution is most usually found in communication, not war — and of course, that not every hill is one worth dying for.
As these ever-so-valuable lessons continue to make their way to me, I get caught up in anger and resentment, wondering how we have fallen so far from the tree of purity, failing to even take the most minuscule amount of personal responsibility or accountability anymore. I look at media, celebrities, politicians, and leaders. Those individuals on a grand scale seem to collectively feel empowered by one another to continue taking hardline stances against personal accountability… and the consequences of the moral deficit trickle into our communities to wreak havoc. As I challenge myself (and often fall short) to constantly take greater personal accountability, and attempt to shoulder the most natural burden of ethics, I find myself having to pivot and take accountability for the balance between speaking truth to power and loving thy neighbor. This task has proven to be a great internal battle of strife, dealing with the very heart of morality itself.
What a costly sacrifice to make in thinking your neighbors (meaning community, society, or anyone) will love you more if you remain silent and keep your light and truth from the world; rather it is more plausible to conclude that their most subdued thoughts may simply become public if you speak, considering most peoples opinions are formed before your first word is uttered, and ironically are only changed by your spoken word anyway.
With great failure along the way and a tendency to come up short as is the human condition, I am attempting to love as if I were its Bastian and speak as if I were truths podium. I see now there is no middle ground to be found in such practices — they are not mutually exclusive, and accomplishing one of those things does not guarantee the other was done as well.
No matter our intention, it is the will and purpose of the ego to distort our neighbor’s words and confuse them as an attack on ourselves. This distortion doesn’t mean you choose not to speak at all, but instead, this is when you must continue to love them as a reflection of your imperfections and self while continuing to speak the truth… not your truth, but rather — the objective truth. If we are going to shed light on anything meaningful, it can be presumed that in equal force a shadow will attempt to cast itself. Your job isn’t to nurture the shadow in appeasement of your light, but rather to continue shining with an understanding that the shadow is just doing its job, and at some point or another — we’ve all also cast our own.
Don’t seek to be loved through assimilated silence, seek to be revered for your honesty, and love will come as truth’s by-product from the people you would have desired love most from in the first place.