I think the world would be a much nicer place if we all decided to play nicely.
Imagine a world where people were nice to each other. Where you smile at strangers in the street or on the tube, and they smile back at you. Where neighbours stop and say hello. Imagine never having experienced worry about going out after dark, being let down and hurt, or hearing a nasty rumour that cut through your heart.
Sounds ideal to me.
I can’t pretend to be entirely innocent. I’ve had times where I’ve laughed in the wrong places, where I’ve been selfish, or mean. There are times I’ve heard something about someone and had to fight not to pre-judge.
I’m pretty sure that if we all look at the way we behave sometimes we could make improvements. But I have never deliberately hurt a person, or gained pleasure from making them cry.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to learn that not everyone sticks to the same rules. Sometimes in life, people can be cruel or harsh, and take pride in being unkind. They see a weakness and play on it – exploit it to make them feel stronger.
Maybe they have internal reasons. Perhaps they have suffered a wrong-doing that results in them projecting that negativity elsewhere. It may be fueled by jealousy, insecurity, resentment. We rarely know what has happened in someones past to make them act the way we do today, but likewise – they never know what has happened to us – what pain we are trying to suppress, what we have fought to overcome.
It makes me want to ask; Do you believe the lies you spread about someone else? Do you get pleasure from putting someone down and hurting their feelings? Or are you just insecure or jealous and it’s the way you feel good about yourself?
I spend a lot of time reading Buddhist, Zen and Tao teachings, although I wish I was better at putting them into practice. I can be 100 miles an hour, I can be complicated, I can be single minded. I make mistakes. But I try to be kind, and look after others, and I genuinely hate confrontation. Intentionally upsetting someone or being a bully is not in my nature.
So, I try very hard to understand why people act the way they do. I try to empathise and put myself in their shoes. When darkness is directed at you it’s hard not to retaliate, but instead remember to breathe slow, and stay true to yourself. It isn’t always easy.
I think the world would be a much nicer place if we all just stop and think. Try not to tread on other peoples sunshine, embrace it. Don’t judge what you don’t understand. Look past the facade – practice compassion.
Learn how to play nicely. Be kind to people. Don’t react to other peoples maliciousness, try to respond with patience. Pay it forward, and at sometime it will come flooding back to you…and think how great that would feel.