Serenity in an Age of Anxiety

brainDon’t believe everything you think; Part 3 of 3. Blog #27

“Watch where you are going, as$!%&#,” Randi yelled out the window when a car cut in front of her, narrowly missing her bumper. “People are so rude,” she fumed.


We have all had this experience because people behave thoughtlessly and badly in large and small ways every day. They steal our parking spots, make nasty remarks and take credit for other’s work. Or worse, they lie, cheat or harm others.


If you have been cheated or attacked, your friends will support your position and condemn the perpetrator.  The perpetrator’s friends might have a different view and see you, the victim, as getting what you deserve. How else would you explain two widely different reactions when a restaurant refused to serve the President’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Her friends saw the rebuff as an unwarranted attack. Her detractors saw it as just desserts (though she did not get dessert) for a women pedaling cruelty.


Two Attacks Don’t Create Peace


Does Sanders willingness to justify inhumane treatment of children make her fair game for a small taste of her own medicine? People are distraught and angry, but does she deserve what she gets?  While her behavior may be callous, attacking her will not move her towards kindness, and also, sullies the attacker. Bad behavior should not be allowed to stand, but no matter what the behavior, cruelty does not justify more cruelty. Ask Einstein.


Albert Einstein said you cannot fix a problem from the mindset that created it.  Pain, self-hate and insecurity generate nastiness. You cannot fix nastiness with more nastiness any more than you can put out a fire by adding more fire. We justify unkindness by reframing the situation and demonizing the victim. An insult becomes the hard truth a clueless person needs to hear. A angry tirade turns into an appropriate response to thoughtless behavior. This makes us feel better but does not move the situation towards resolution


Hateful behavior can only flourish if we believe our best interests are separate from someone else’s.  In other words, we can get ahead at someone else’s expense. The current divisions in our country fuels bad behavior. We believe we only win when others lose. History tells us, this is not true. A house divided falls.


Fear and anxiety are the mindset that created a situation where children end up in cages. That same mindset caused otherwise reasonable people to justify inhumane behavior by demonizing outsiders. More cruelty will not correct their thinking because it comes from the same misguided mindset.


Call your lawyer, call your congressperson, express your outrage and don’t take “no” for an answer but keep tabs on your mindset.  If you notice hate creeping in, you are in not in your right mind.





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