30 November 2007

Live and let live, say I.

It an easy thing to say, but seems much harder in practice. For some reason when another presents an opposing viewpoint or is contrary to your personal desires, it sparks a desperate need in the human psyche to seek it out, destroy it, or assimilate it to one's own comfort zone. It often leads to discontent, strife, subterfuge, and sometimes outright warfare.

Talking heads speak on the value of diversity and the enrichment of divergent views, but in practice that is not so. Diversity is only valued when it fits into one's own comfortable little niche. Diversity is only valued if it's within your realm of control or understanding. Divergent views are shunted aside or squashed, so that one does not have to challenge one's own paradigm.

This is absolutely tragic.

What could you learn if you truly live and let live? How many lives could you enrich if, instead of seeking to control what is outside your realm of influence, you actually sat, listened, and learned? Knowledge is power, not control.

Destroying what is not yours does not give you any measure of control. All it does is cheapen your spiritual and intellectual experience. It removes you from enlightment with every accusation or covert action against another and their opposing view. It detracts from any growth that you could have attained by just listening and respecting another's view.

Live and let live. We are the embodiment of the Divine. Their essense resides in our very souls and is reflected in the shell. Each difference is a lesson that we can learn. Each divergent view is yet another aspect of the Divine. By shutting down what you do not control, understand, or agree with you become what you detest.

You become weak, feeble, and narrow minded. You lose the higher self in the pursuit of power and in your own arrogance. You lose out on the lessons that are held before you, in whatever form they may take. If you cannot allow an opposing view to flourish, what does that really say about you? Is your spirit so weak that you cannot stand up and be a shining example of what you are?

If your faith is challenged, that should harden your resolve. You should be able to stand up and know exactly what you are and defend it, without having to resort to name calling or degradation of another path. If your lifestyle is mocked, that should strengthen your position. Live in the best manner you can and seek to disprove perception by your mere existance.

Let the weak ones be those who cannot abide another being in "their" world. Let the truth of diversity be in yourself. There is no reason to be spiteful or cruel.

And if all you seek is power, then you will never, ever be powerful. The rule you have over any will be shallow, because you know.. deep down.. you're nothing without it. Power is in the ability to accept others and let them live their lives, without your having to prove you're "better" than they. If you're truly better, people will know. They will know because they see it, not because you destroyed all who stood differently.

True power lies in the confidence to let others exist without capitulation. True power lies in knowing who you are, inside. True faith resides within the heart, not in how many converts you manage to sway.

Live and let live, say I. The more lives I see and experience, different than my own, the better I feel I am as a person.

02 November 2007

trust –noun reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

Seems simple, doesn't it? It's just one word. It means you can rely on someone or something. It should be easy. I give you my word, I mean it. Trust me.

Trust and you'll be trusted, said the liar to the fool. When the word, the solemn vow, has been violated you lose trust. It's almost impossible to regain in that individual or that thing that broke the oath. Even worse is when you've had repeated offenses to your trusting nature. You then you learn to trust in nothing and no one at all.

However, sometimes you just can't trust. You build a barrier between you and everyone else. You keep your secrets. Hide yourself. You hole yourself up inside yourself. It's easier that way. Then no one can know you. No one can touch that part of you. No one can hurt you. And you will desperately shove anyone away who even approaches a level of trust. You won't allow it. If they can't see what lies within, they can't reject it or you. They can't break you. You're solid, shielded, and strong.

It's not truly strength, though. It's a facade. It's weakness and fear. It's easier to keep everyone out and have a strong wall than be vulnerable. How do you learn to trust again? How do you allow yourself to be vulnerable when all that's ever done is bruise your soul?

What do you gain from trusting someone? You gain the ability to believe in someone. You gain the ability to believe in yourself. You gain a confidante, a friend. You gain someone you can share the greater part of your hidden self. You can tell your secrets, share your pain, and help each other with your anguish. You can share your joy. Joy shared, is joy enhanced.

Continuing on with the distrust is self denial. It prevents you from experiencing joy again. You go through the motions. You may not be hurt, but you won't get the full measure of extacy either. Is keeping the pain at bay worth losing the delicious happiness you could feel, if only you trusted someone, if only you believed in someone.. or something?

It's a long road, learning to trust again. It's a painful road. There will be bumps, snags, and setbacks. There will be suffering. There will be anguish. In the long run, however, the rewards are worth the risk. Without risks you become a shell of a person. A husk in which feelings will fall away, like leaves in autumn.

Without risks you will be empty.