Good morning, friends. I know this may sound naïve and idealistic but today I just want to encourage everyone to be a person of peace. You never know who you might interact with today who is struggling with something, carrying burdens. It is possible (probable?) we will never know the story of most people we will encounter today. When we read or hear something we disagree with, it’s good to remember that we may not be getting the whole picture of what the person is trying to say, the experience out of which the person is speaking.
It is easier to misunderstand than to understand. Understanding requires reflection, listening, seeking clarification more than validation. Sometimes it means giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, seeing the best in them. Name-calling and pigeon-holing prove counterproductive to this end. No one ever felt understood via aggressive or hostile treatment; in the same vein, no one comes to understand the other when they are regarded in ways that are demeaning or belittling. “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”
We all have a limited view of others. To grow as a human being is to enlarge one’s ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. The hardest words we may ever have to live by are these: “Judge not lest you be judged.” Sadly, it may also be true that those who have the hardest time living by these words are those who claim to follow the one who spoke them.
My own experience is one of both darkness and light. My guess is that your experience is a mixture, too. On social media, for example, I’m troubled by the many ways we demean others and are quick to judge. But I am also encouraged by the many ways I see people spreading the light, showing kindness, compassion and esteem for others. When the darkness seems to be growing, the only way to dispel it is to shine a light. Shine your light today, my friends. I will try my best to shine mine.
a person of peace
reflections by troy cady