For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
“There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody is right if everybody is wrong.”
We are killing each other a lot more – by the masses, because of race and sexual preference, on the street, at schools and clubs. Sure, each case can be broken down and we can often see what went wrong, but we’d be small-minded to think that changing the effect will change the cause. I’ve tried to find the root of the problem so that I myself can understand; so that I can become part of the solution. What I’ve found is that if we peel the layers back – opinions aside – we can all agree on this:
Ego has triumphed over Soul.
False Self has triumphed over True Self.
Senseless killings are happening because we think we are above others, above everything. Being able to see only ourselves has resulted in failure to see the humanity in other people. Other people and their lives have no value. Other people don’t matter. Only we matter. This “I” mentality means we’ve become increasingly intolerable of the opinions, wants, likes, background, nationality, history and struggle of others. We no longer care about the opinions of other people. Our first instinct is to dispute how they are wrong and we are right. We are ego-driven, egocentric, ego maniacs.
When something goes wrong, we wonder what everyone else did wrong and never does the thought of sympathizing cross our minds. We’ve lost sight of that invaluable advice: put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Everything is OK in some way, everything is gray, everything is liquid, but only when it pertains to us. Everyone else must adhere to strict guidelines because we matter and others don’t.
It starts at a really early age now too. We tell every kid they are a shining star at everything. We tell them they are the most special child. We shelter them in a way in which it becomes inevitable that they will be self-involved. We don’t discipline them and we don’t allow anyone else to discipline them either. Discipline is above them!
Wishing for this to all go away is the equivalent of the beauty queen saying she wishes for world peace or to end world hunger. It’s not going to completely vanish; however, there is no reason why we can’t individually make a difference within ourselves. How can we do that? How can we accomplish being more soul-driven?
Perhaps reminding ourselves of a few things is a good start:
- No one is perfect. Everyone has made mistakes and we will continue to make them forever. When your first instinct is to look at where to place the blame, remember that. Sympathize a bit more.
- Practice going outside of your world and your circle. Travel. See the struggle and the beauty of other countries outside your own.
- If you’re a parent, take your children out of their bubble often. Teach them that they are no better than anyone else. Discipline them when they are getting out of control; hold them accountable for their behavior. You will be doing the future a large service.
- Practice being grateful more often than you practice buying materials things.
- Like everything else, education is important. Learn the difference between ego and soul. Let it become part of you so that you can easily identify and correct your behavior.
- Shut the f__ up once in a while and listen to someone else. Your conversation is not the most important one.
- If you hear someone talking from a place of ego, do the world a favor and kindly correct them.
- Look at yourself often and admit that in nearly every situation you have some of the fault. Admit when you’re wrong.
- Practice patience.
- Stop senselessly killing people. I can’t put this any other way. Just stop. It won’t fix anything. You won’t become some type of hero; you are just a loser who has let their ego reach optimal levels of self-importance.
Let’s face it, there’s battle lines being drawn. And the reality is that nobody is right if everybody is wrong.