“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” Marianne Williamson
Do you always think before you act? How often are your actions based on your need to be right? What do you do when being right conflicts with being humane?
What most often guides your actions—being right or being humane? As I sat listening to the comments on what it means to be right during a group discussion the other night, I discovered I didn’t know what to say about my own concept of being right. I kept thinking about all the destruction created in the world by those who believe they are so right that they have the right to destroy those whose beliefs differ from theirs.
Fear Is At the Core of Needing To Be Right
As the discussion progressed, I reflected on the past and times when I thought I knew what was right and how I tried to impose it on others. Of course, fear was at the root of that. I was afraid something bad would happen to me if I did the wrong thing or expressed an idea that would upset my parents, teachers, or friends.
But I’ve come a long way since then, realizing that, in some areas, it is clear to me what the right thing to do is because I have enough life experience to know what the possible outcome of certain actions are. I think more often now before I speak or act and try to act in a conscious manner.
It Is Better To So What Is Humane Than What Is Right
Finally, toward the end of the discussion the other night, I realized that my intense discomfort with trying to decide what I thought was right was because it really is relative. Several people had pointed this out quite vividly. One action may be a good one in one sense but not in another. Then I realized that instead of trying to do the right thing, perhaps doing the humane thing was a clearer guide.
It appears that too many people in this world believe it’s all right to kill anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. So I have to ask, “Is it humane to kill innocent civilians who have had nothing to do with the political conflict that provoked this violence? Why have we not developed a more humane way to resolve differences?” Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Needing To Be Right May Make Us Blind
Unfortunately, much of the world seems to be blind. As I follow the actions of the leadership of my state, North Carolina, I often wonder why they are unwilling or unable to find solutions to problems that are respectful of all people and their basic needs. Where is their compassion?
To be humane means that we believe everyone’s basic needs are met by creating an economy that provides jobs for those who can work with salaries that allow even the most basic workers to make a reasonable living. When middle and lower class workers pay a higher percentage in taxes than the most wealthy, there is a lack of conscience among those who allow such laws to exist.
To Be Humane, We Must Find Inner Peace
When did we forget how to share as a nation? How did we forget that democracy is about all the people? Doing what is humane is always right because it is doing what will help or heal or support another who is in need. When we do that, we are expressing positive energy that flows out into the world, inspiring or helping others. Every action we take affects those around us.
But our actions reflect our thinking, and until we can find peace and love in our own hearts, we cannot share it with others. We must learn to accept different points of view and embrace those that are humane. After all, the Spirit, of which we are all a part, has throughout time sent many holy ones into our world to teach us better ways to live with love and peace.
Shifting Our Thinking Can Change the World
When we look at the heart of the world’s main religions, there are few differences although each may emphasize different aspects of spirituality. We would have a much more humane world if we would focus our efforts on seeing how alike we are rather than how different. Shifting our thinking can literally change the world. So how far are you willing to stretch out of your comfort zone to explore thinking that is different from yours?
I am always reminded of what my dear spiritual teacher Gladys taught me—that when I release my fear, my mind is free to find solutions to my problems rather than reasons to continue being afraid. What would happen if we released our fear and allowed our most humane thoughts to direct our lives? We could become the peace which we desire in the world.
©2014 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5