How can we as a society live in peace with one another?

Peace seems like a term that is so far away right now. The world’s problems may seem so overwhelming that we as individuals feel powerless. How can we as a society live in peace with one another? How can the injustices that happen all over the world stop? While protests are powerful tools, it isn’t enough.

There is political chaos, there are people being treated unfairly, and the coronavirus is just pilling up on top of everything. Some people are doing better at coping than others. While the chaos around us can be extremely overwhelming, we can all take steps as individuals to create a world of peace, one individual at a time.

Empathy is a powerful tool

There are times when logic has it’s place. Science is one such example. There is definitely no room for being subjective when performing tests, observing results and doing a final analysis. Logic is used in medicine, in astrophysics, in engineering. Logic can be used to win arguments and win debates. The problem with logic, it’s when it is used subjectively. Everyone has their own way of thinking and therefore everyone has their own very strong opinions.

Everyone has their own formulas. 

Put aside all logic for a moment. There are groups fighting on every side. This is not because each group wants to attack you personally. This is because everyone is hurt. Everyone has needs that need to be fulfilled. May it be a need to adhere to religious practice and its rules out of fear of a God, or may it be a need to trust that a woman can make what decision is best for her body with her doctor, without any other external influences. It may be a need to carry a gun out of mistrust of the people around you and craving safety, or it may be a need  not to allow people to have guns out of fear that a reactive person can hurt others. Everyone is fighting, but no one has empathy for the other side. Everyone is screaming slogans, making rules, but no one is actually taking the time to listen to what the other people have to say.

 Peace will not happen without empathy and this goes for all sides involved.  

While the world’s problems are too big for one person to solve them, and while protests are powerful tools to fight injustices, you can still take a moment to use empathy towards the people around you. Maybe someone has a privileged life, and their own subjective logic tells them that anyone with money problems doesn’t work hard enough. Using logic for this type of debate or argument will certainly deeply hurt a person who is living the situation and who truly really is working hard. This is how the pain starts. When there is a lack of empathy for another human being’s hurt, the fighting begins, the hatred begins.  Empathy, will open your mind, allow you to listen, and maybe, just maybe even give you an opportunity to solve a problem. That another person can’t solve alone. 

Recognize that everyone is stressed

Stress is an awful, nasty, debilitating feeling. 

Sure, stress is also useful when used correctly. Like for example if we are in a real dangerous situation such as faced with a grizzly bear. Then stress will force us to act fast and that is a good thing. We can all understand this,  but I feel that humanity has reached a point now, where everyone is using fight or flight and this in turn causes more fight or flight reactions. It’s like a domino effect. There are people who are emotionally fragile and can’t take this kind of stress. 

 We all really need to start taking care of ourselves collectively. We need to create a bubble of safety, take care of ourselves and those closest to us, take a deep breath, and relax.  There comes a point where experiencing this kind of stress will only hurt your body and mind. You have to pause and take a breath. If you are fighting for a just cause, then do it safely, don’t hurt anyone, breathe and take care of yourself. Recognize that everyone is stressed. There comes a point where this mentally exhausting wheel needs to stop spinning.

For every negative act you come across, respond with an act of kindness.

The cycle of hatred is a never-ending spinning wheel. You hurt me, I hurt you, I hurt you, you hurt me. It just goes on and on and on. Be the bigger person. Let go of hatred and begin spreading positivity and love. I’m not saying love your enemy, I’m just saying do something kind for someone else. If hatred doesn’t have a voice, it will have no room to grow. 

This doesn’t need to be a huge endeavor. It can be as simple as calling a friend and telling them that you care, hugging your spouse and telling them that you love them, sitting in a coffee shop with someone with a different point of view, and having a friendly meal. If you know of someone living an injustice or experiencing pain, don’t stay silent about it. Help them. Silence and indifference is the biggest problem that causes a divide in society in my opinion.

There are a lot of injustices in the world. Many powerful people may take advantage of those who can’t be heard. If everyone is divided, injustices will continue to prevail. Only by being united as a human species, by practicing empathy, and standing together will we finally know peace, regardless of your own personal subjective logic. A small act of kindness will spread around you. An empathetic ear will heal another person, and recognizing another person’s pain will have more influence than any slogan that you scream on the street.

Why do bad things always happen to me?

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