Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Seeing People as People




















Yesterday was a very significant day for many people in my religion- men and women alike- and my mind has been engulfed in it. 

I read the articles, I watch the news clips, I scroll down my Facebook feed…And then I make the grave mistake of reading the comments; comments that seem viscous from all sides of the spectrum.

As I read the words, I can feel my heart pounding in my chest. 

I want to lash out and retaliate.

 I want to treat them (anyone who seems insensitive or bully-ishexactly how they are treating others so I can prove my point even further (whatever that "point" may be). 

I want to attack because I feel attacked. 

I want to correct because I am convinced that I am correct and my way is the right way!

So, I write out my words in the comment box… and I don't hold back…it feels good to release everything I feel. But I don't hit publish. My finger hovers over the publish box, and as tempting as it is, I don't double click. Because I start to notice something deep within me:

When I feel I am being mistreated, the easier it becomes for me to (or want to) mistreat others. Except, I try to convince myself that I'm not in the wrong for mistreating other's because this is all a consequence of how I've been mistreated.

(Does this resonate with you?)

I battle back and forth between if I should post the comment or not. 

I decide to let my pulse slow a bit and I step back to reread the comments that angered me just a few moments earlier.

Ironically, I notice that the feeling deep within me, the one about mistreating others because I have been mistreated, most likely fits almost all the other people who are commenting, blaming, and accusing.

They are lashing out and retaliating.

They are treating others exactly how they complain others are treating them to prove their point even further (whatever that "point" may be).

They are attacking because they feel attacked.

They are correcting because they feel they are correct and their way is the right way! 

And all the while, the only thing happening is a twister that is spiraling out of control, one where we are inviting and encouraging the very thing that we're all complaining about.

Talk about counterproductive.

While this has been a tragic few weeks for many of my friends for varying different reasons, the most tragic part is that I feel the value in our humanity is slowly diminishing. And this isn't just about one particular issue… or blog post…. or comment…. This is a common occurrence, one that we see in regard to politics, religion, mommy wars, etc. 

I've had a post sitting in my drafts folder titled "What's With All The Meanness?" and I've been neglecting to post it for months now. The timing just never felt right. But now, I just can't not post my feelings on the subject because I think we're forgetting one core truth: that each of us, every single one of us, are PEOPLE. 

People just like me…. People just like you…. People with feelings, insecurities, hurts, hopes, families, ideas, dreams, etc. On all sides of the fence, we are all people.  Real people.

I don't have the answers or the solutions to the world's problems or heartaches, nor do I pretend to.

But I do know that the peace begins with one person: 

Me.

It may seem impossible for one, small, insignificant being in all of this to make a difference, but I beg to differ.

It begins with me. 

It begins with you. 

It begins with us.

The only way we can create change for the better, is by working on ourselves.

No matter what your beliefs are… no matter what the issue… no matter what the conflict… Try looking at people like they are people, just as you are.  Try recognizing people as people, just like you are. And most importantly, try treating people the way in which you'd really like to be treated and see what it does?

Everything aside, follow the Golden Rule.

Does it prompt you to go back and delete the mean-spirited, attacking words in that comment box?

Does it help you to rephrase, or re-approach the situation with a different tone?

Does it nudge you to take a moment/hour/maybe even a day to calm yourself and collect your thoughts before going any further?

Does it soften your heart to feel less aggressive, hostile and defensive?

Does it help minimize that fuming anger, and instead, spark a little bit of empathy and compassion, even toward those you may strongly disagree with (and maybe even people we feel have wronged us)?

For me, the answer to all of these questions is yes. When I step back and strive to see people as people, people who are JUST LIKE ME, it's an amazing paradigm shift; one that takes conscious effort and hard work, and one that is not always easy.

The purpose isn't to drive home a point, and always be right, regardless of who's in our way, or who feels what. Nor is it okay to mistreat other's because you have been mistreated. (What good does that  realistically do in any situation?)

The purpose is to strive to see people as people in all we do, even in our disagreements, and in our hardships. Because the moment we lose sight of that, we are not only aiding the divisive war, but we are, our very selves, creating the exact thing we are hurt by.



10 comments:

  1. Oh Jacy, you are someone I look up to and wish to be like. How about sending me some of your compassion and kindness. These events have tired me out and broken my heart. Love you!

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  2. I love this Jacy. I totally agree. We are all in this together and we are all viewing the world through our unique lens. Compassion and seeking to see people as people is my greatest desire. Thank you for the great reminder and example. As always, you inspire me.

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  3. thanks for this post. I haven't been online much this last year because of school and my family, but I do check facebook from my phone every day. This week I decided to uninstall facebook and take a step back because what I was reading there left me feeling sad and sick inside. I'm even guilty of a couple of those hurtful comments myself! I decided enough was enough, and I'm feeling better already. We are all people, it's just too easy to forget that when we are not face to face :(

    Missy

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    1. What a wonderful way to know yourself, what isn't healthy for you, and to choose a different path. I think that is the most Christ-like choice, when you start acting like someone you don't want to be.

      I went back to school in January, and changed my settings so that I only get notified if someone sends me a message. This summer I am getting on more, and working on finding good boundaries, since one of my classes in the fall requires us to start a FI group to do PR projects. I wanted to already have healthy time limits and choose which "friends" I have never met are a net positive in my life.

      Thanks for sharing a part of your heart. :-)

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  4. Welp...I think I just fell madly in love with you, Jacy.

    Oh how I wish I could say things in my heart the way you do. You said this so perfectly. I want to hug you, kiss you, smile big smiles and say THANK YOU!!!! I didn't think you could get anymore beautiful..but, yep, you just did!! xo

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  5. Well put! And a nod to Arbinger. :)

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    1. Amber, I've also been told to read "Bonds That Make Us Free" :) Have you read it? Arbinger is such goooooood stuff!

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  6. Thank you. You said so much of what I've been thinking ... Love.

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  7. Several FB friends linked to this post, and I am glad it caught my eye when I needed a study break. I have honestly been shocked at statements coming from all sides. I can't imagine telling anyone to leave the church, or their family and friends.

    I feel like we, as a church community, have somehow lost both the spirit of the Articles of Faith, and the love for each other and contains knowledge from heaven, that was absolutely expected by the early saints.

    I think that we all have things that we would like to have changed in the church, and while some changes would be bigger than others, all of those ideas and desires are important. You are so right when you say,

    "When I step back and strive to see people as people, people who are JUST LIKE ME, it's an amazing paradigm shift;"

    I think that paradigm shift is at the foundation of Christ's response to the woman taken in adultery. He didn't just tell people to leave her alone to work out her own repentance, and instead turned it into a question for all who were there. Can you look inside and be sure enough that you are without sin and mistakes? If you can't find peace in attacking others, then you should probably try something else. (Part of why I love Miss W's comment above!)

    Glad to have found your blog! I will explore more when my paper is turned in tomorrow.

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  8. I totally relate! I also have noticed that when something really irritates me, I tend to vent my feelings to my husband. Just by doing that, even if he doesn't give me his thoughts, seems to calm me down. :)

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