My passion is to promote opening your heart and mind to equality, love, compassion, contentment, non-violence, non-anger, peace, etc. I generally do my best not to feed into things that do not promote this. However, sometimes in the midst of someone’s anger, I find a place where I feel an opportunity to remind of non-anger and compassion. I had this back fire on me the other day. I saw a post on Facebook from someone asking the advice of others on a situation that had angered him. He is a Christian and did admit that he knows that Jesus would say to forgive and move one, but he was burnt up about it. The details are moot. The point is that all who commented agreed with him stating something along the lines that his anger was justified. I had posted that anger is never a solution, that we need to have more compassion for others and where they may be. Others continued to post that he is right in his anger and that he needs to fight to win. I then posted that I don’t understand what he is fighting. He had admitted that in fact he didn’t really care he just wanted to win. In any case, out of all the people who replied I was the only one he responded to. He told me that I was more uptight about it than he was. When did promoting less anger and more compassion become uptight? I guess what the real question is, is it because I did not feed into his anger and tell him he is right that he lashed out against me? The point is my friends, we have a learning moment in instances such as these. As Christians it may be a moment that Jesus has given you to, what are you to do with that moment? For some reason this reminds me of the bible story of the sinful woman and the Pharisee. (Luke 7:36-50) For the yogis, we are taught that anger is one of the most harmful forces. If we fan anger’s embers inside us, the heat can consume our love, rationality, and emotional and physical health. Anger undermines our main goal of attaining happiness and freedom. It is in these moments where we grow as people; people of love. He had a chance to forgive and move on. I had a chance to learn that not all people are open to growing in compassion and love when so consumed by anger. I deleted my posts because the moment for him to see the big picture with an open, loving heart was lost. I sadly realized that he wasn’t really looking for anything other than validation that his anger was justified. That I wanted no part of. I remember learning about bias in opinion polls in one of my college classes. We learned that usually those who have strong negative opinions are the ones who feel inclined to speak out. I remember thinking that I don’t want to be like that. So, I speak out for love and compassion.
While working on this post I took a break to get back on Facebook and re-read the post and reflect to make sure that my accounts of what happened where honest to the best of my ability. While doing that I read a post from someone I really admire and he said, “Minding your own business will instantly change your perspective.” Maybe I should have minded my own business?!?! Then someone commented on that post reminding us of non-attachment stating, “Give advice when it is asked of you, but let go of any ideas of how one should use the wisdom given.” Good thoughts, good lessons.
So, why post and where am I going from here. I posted this because like I said, it is something that I deeply passionate about, but it is also, in my mind, a moment for us all to stop and think about how would we be in a situation like this and what can we do to consciously work to not act out of anger, but love and compassion.