Monday, January 10, 2011

What is "My Part"?

It is hard, hearing and seeing all the news of violence and tragedy from a distance. We often feel helpless hopeless anger and fear; wishing that someone had been able to prevent it. After an event there is a desperate need to seek and understand causes and reasons so solutions can be built to minimize the probability of a repeat. We want to feel safer, and communicating from this stance of fear often devolves to blaming, and fault-finding language that incites more anger and fear. What is our part as individuals who are not directly involved? What can we do? There may be practical things we choose to do, such as donate money, volunteer time or expertise, or provide some support and education to those impacted. But even if we are not in a position to do a direct deed, there are powerful indirect deeds we can do that help - maybe not those in the crisis we are observing in the news - but certainly our neighbors, friends, family and community. Remember, we are all connected and interwoven so all our actions influence others and ripple outwards. If every day with the people we meet we do our best to practice compassion - listening, acknowledging the pain and suffering of ourselves and others, and caring for them - we have done our part. People who feel listened to, acknowledged and cared for tend to pass it on or pay it forward, even a little bit. That, my friends, is certainly is whole lot better than passing on the fear, anger, and anxiety that is free floating. Passing on the bad stuff is easy, having awareness, focus and determination to act on your potential, is a bit harder. So just do your part. It helps us all.

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