Justice is what love looks like in public. Tenderness is what love feels like in private. ~ Cornel West
Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato
I’m a pretty even-keeled gal, and have become somewhat adept at managing/mitigating stress in my life, which I share with others through my work. Part of that strategy includes limiting/filtering my daily dose of news and media so as not to get overwhelmed by the gloom and doom that is the majority of what is broadcast.
But lately I’ve been feeling like the character in that famous scene from the 1976 movie Network: ‘mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.‘ Just pick a topic, whether our broken political system, the war on women’s reproductive health, the global economic mess and decline of the middle class, or vigilantes and blatant attacks both here and abroad, including massacres and ethnic cleansing, both overt and subtle, of particular races, religions, sexual orientations and nations. There are so many things under siege in our culture, society and around the world that it’s easy to get lulled into the feeling we can’t do anything, but we can take matters into our hands – in a responsible way.
Besides using your voice, signature and/or pocketbook to make a difference, we can check our egos at the door and let balanced emotions guide our actions, not uncontrolled rage or fear. There is plenty of wonkiness/intellectual and pseudo-intellectual approaches to go around, and unfortunately pure hatred and insanity as well to fuel many an action, so the question that each of us needs to answer is: How can we inject more love, understanding and compassion in order to effect the change we want?
A good place to begin is to think about how we can create more justice and peace in our own lives, starting with our relationships. Are you unfairly punishing, harshly judging or incorrectly perceiving people closest to you whether family, friends or those you work with? Are the thoughts and actions towards yourself and others around you positive and constructive, or negative and destructive?
Since today is the first day of Spring*, it’s a good time to clean out your mental and emotional closets as well as your physical ones. By making more of a commitment to create your own just and peaceful world, only then can we expect it of the world around us. ‘Cause guess what? That world is made of us!
Do what you can to activate love and compassion within yourself, scan reactions and prejudices, don’t throw stones, and stand up for those who can’t. Most of all, go easy on yourself – we’re often our own worst critics and judges and end up imprisoning ourselves and those around us because of it. Most people are doing the best as they can. As so eloquently stated in a TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson, remember that “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” and “Our humanity depends on everyone’s humanity.”
Not quite sure where you need to balance the scales of justice in your life? Give me a buzz and I can be a softer, gentler version of Judge Judy, helping you to separate fact from fiction in your court of personal opinion so you can spring yourself from whatever slammer you’ve put yourself in!