I’m sure you’ve seen the fancy post that if you can choose to be anything be kind. And sure, it’s a great sentiment, but somedays are bad days and being kind is feels anything but possible. I’m grateful that we don’t all have the same bad days, so the people that are struggling with kindness are balanced out by those who aren’t. That being said, I do think that right now our world would benefit from more kindness, and while it would be nice if everyone woke up tomorrow and said I am going to be way nicer today than I was yesterday, that doesn’t address where the hate and meanness is coming from.
Just as waking up and saying I’m going to be nice doesn’t magically make all of your actions and behaviors nice, I don’t think anyone wakes up and thinks how can I be mean and hateful today. I think hate, like anger, is really a secondary emotion. It’s there to mask the more vulnerable feelings inside. I think one of the primary places things fueling hateful responses, and a lot of name calling, is feeling unsafe and insecure.
There are so many unknowns swirling around us right now, and our reptilian brain is doing everything it can to get us back to safety, trying to help us feel in control. Being right, and making sure those who are “wrong” know it, is an attempt to find safety.
What if instead of saying to the person who is having a different response than you, that they are stupid, selfish, entitled, ignorant, etc. You said: I am scared. I am scared that I or someone I love is going to get really sick, and possibly die. I feel out of control. I am scared of all of the unknowns, I am unsure of what to do. I want someone to take responsibility for all of this mess so we can hurry up and get back to normal.
Is it possible that everyone is doing the best that they can with the information they have? Reality? There is very little undeniable fact in the world, that’s why so many things treated as truth are actually called theories (germ theory comes to mind right now…).
What we all want right now is to have an end in sight. Limbo is one of the hardest places to live. Limbo is even harder to live in when everyone is yelling at each other for not doing it right. Limbo will always feel abnormal, but it will feel a lot better if we can lead with love and acceptance.
Questions to help get you to that place:
What am I doing to take responsibility for myself?
What can I remove from my current experience to lower my feelings of anger, frustration, hate, and malice?
What am I doing to release my belief that others have a responsibility to make me feel a certain way?
What proactive steps/ preparations am I making to ensure that if what I fear comes to pass I am in the best possible position to rise to the occasion?
Take a deep breathe, turn inwards, focus on dealing with your fears through personal course correction. Find a way to be empowered, without belittling others.