Are you looking for ways to be on the side of humanity, and to resist the forces of fragmentation, division and separation that drive wars on this planet?

My heart is both heavy and hopeful this week as I watch world events unfold, and while I could write a thousand pages on the complexities of the historical and psychological events that got us to this point in history, I want to focus on one key truth here this week:

Feeling empathy for the suffering of any people being starved or slaughtered – no matter the “reason” given – is a normal, healthy response of anyone in touch with their humanity and innate sense of ethics and care for other people.

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

The very same life-affirming empathy, healthy outrage, understandable horror and disgust that lead to nations wanting to help and protect Jewish people after WWII, is the exact same outrage and empathy showing up now for the suffering of people in Congo, Palestine, Iran and numerous other places in the world.

This is life-affirming outrage, heartbreak and indignation.

Systems of war and violence divide people into identity camps, get people to dehumanize and hate one another by framing one group as “good” and the other group as “bad” and then manipulate the masses into turning on one another and choosing false sides.

They lack nuance, sophistication and complexity. In the oversimplification, they are able to simply exterminate in the name of efficiency and effectiveness.

We are all vulnerable to this kind of manipulation, and we can each set an intention to see through it and bring a commitment to cultivating a different consciousness for the moment.

The only side to be on here is that of Humanity.
Peace-making.
Sharing resources with one another.
Healing the past.
Living in accordance with the higher principles of love, compassion and truth-telling.

Having empathy and wanting to protect people who are suffering at the hands of a few power-hungry, corrupt political leaders who lack any empathy or care for humanity, is not anti-(whatever principle or group they are trying to use against you.)

The oversimplification of either being Pro-Israeli, or Pro-Palestinian only serves those who want more violence, more colonialism, more resources. The atrocities of violence are not solved with more violence.

I’d like to find a way to inspire people to stop standing up for abuse, to stop rationalizing the infringement and marginalization of other human beings – no matter who those humans are. I want to inspire us to build a better world together.

If you’d like to ground yourself in principles that serve all people, here are some suggested starting places:

  1. Instead of taking the side of an identity group, take the side of all humanity. Stand for the protection of all humans, not just humans like you.
  2. Re-humanize all the enemy images you may currently hold (including soldiers, police officers, politicians, races, religions) and resist all forms of interpersonal or physical violence towards people – including when violence is rationalized by using a group label.
  3. Hold individuals (not groups or populations) accountable for their individual actions.
  4. Learn more about the protective vs the punitive use of force, for example, on Episode 16 on Conversations from the Heart. Or read more about it in How to Set a Protective Boundary.
  5. Use your voice to speak up for those who are being silenced, tortured, abused and harmed.
  6. Let your heart break open. Again.
  7. Stand for humanity, peace and healing.
  8. Value truth-telling over the drama of exaggeration and minimization.

Want even more strategies to try?  Check out How to Heal a Hurting World.

Doing this work takes tremendous clarity, fortitude and self-trust. So, in this week’s podcast, we dive into:

  • How demands strip the joy out of giving,
  • Staying true to ourselves even when others don’t like it, and end with
  • Some strategies for bolstering our sense of self-worth.

Enjoy.

What helps you to stay grounded in your humanity?
I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below.

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