Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Asserting Peace, Conflict and Not Reacting.
I don’t go to peace rallies. I wouldn’t urge anyone else not to go in fact I think it is a very noble way for people to show their feelings but I worry about the concept of opposition. The reason why I would not tell anyone that they shouldn’t go is because that would mean I was opposing them and that is exactly what I need to talk about.
I felt like writing this some weeks ago but I have learned a very useful tactic to keep my equilibrium in check, time. When something happens and I find myself being emotionally drawn to it I leave it be and allow time to work on it. This doesn’t quite change my perspective it’s more that I can see that things are better looked at from a calm frame of mind. You will not be able to make balanced decisions if you are imbalanced so it best to back off and allow events to work themselves out before lending yourself to them.
Before I begin please don’t kid yourself into believing that recent events in this country are in anyway isolated. What is happening today must be taken within the context of the conflict as a whole. What a lot of right thinking people do is believe that because they have been leading relatively stable lives that that is somehow the norm but that is not true because for two groups of people here nothing has ever changed, their communities are much the same as they were 10 or 20 years ago and their mindset has certainly not shifted during that time period.
Any type of opposition is by its very nature an entering into the realm of conflict. I know peace rallies are supposed to be peaceful and in most cases they are just that but even by making a point in this way people are actually standing within the confines of the conflict itself for it is the conflict which has stirred them to do that which they are doing therefore they have become part of it because they are showing opposition to it. Think of two magnets which have opposing poles, if you don’t put one against the other nothing will happen but once they are in close proximity the struggle begins, a basic analogy I know but think about it.
There is something about the psychology of opposition which is often overlooked when people take up any given position in the midst of a conflict. Opposing something is really just a recognition of it and I am sorry but opposition actually leads to furthering the cause which is being opposed. If there is an attack and you either then attack back or choose to defend yourself you are simply allowing the cycle to continue and giving those who attacked initially the attention they require to keep going.
I have been listening very intently to normal, right thinking people during the last couple of months and what I am noticing is people who would not normally be intolerant becoming intolerant. They will be getting very angry and calling the rioters scumbags, they’ll find every way they can to mock those who are engaged in civil disorder, talking at length about their mothers and fathers being ill reared and they’re all unemployed and inbreed and thick. Anger causes people to do and say things which they would not normally do or say, that is common knowledge but is it alright? I mean is it acceptable for you or someone you know to talk so viciously about any other human being? Of course you may believe your reasons to be righteous but are they? Is this not just the very same method of making excuses that those involved in the rioting are guilty of?
Whether or not the people you’re talking about deserve it is not the issue here. The issue is balance. If a certain other group of individuals are behaving in a particular way that is one level of imbalance. People who behave that way are obviously not stable but this is Northern Ireland and people have been behaving that way for hundreds of years and whether you would like to admit it or not there are actually reasons for why these people behave as such, insecurity, self confidence and self esteem issues, a lack of belonging, feelings of hopelessness, I could go on!
If you live in an imbalanced world, which we all do, there is always a chance that you yourself will become imbalanced. Granted it may be the actions of others which cause your imbalance but why things happen are much, much less important than the very simple fact that they have happened. I lived most of my life being completely imbalanced and it nearly killed me. It has only been very recently that I have discovered how to keep myself going in a straight line and all I am doing is passing that on and I hope that some of you will respect that and I also hope you may get something from these musings because I am not doing any of this for myself. The modern age is a mess and it has a tendency to drag us all down. Temptation is abound and we must all take a great deal of care with our own wellbeing because we do not only aeffect ourselves by becoming imbalanced, we also aeffect those around us.
Here’s the crux and many people will not like this because it concerns them. If a group of people are doing this, that or the other thing for whatever reasons and YOU then react to it and begin hitting back at them, YOU are the one who is at fault because it is YOU who has lost control of yourself and allowed yourself to react. What you are doing by reacting is saying it is alright to react this way when it isn’t alright because reacting simply allows the cycle to continue and that is basically what has been happening here for further back than anyone can remember.
Always be aware of the good and evil conundrum and check yourself because we all have the tendency to see things in a very absolute way when the world we live in is anything but absolute. When you are dealing with vulnerable people who have a myriad of social, emotional and mental issues things cannot be looked at rationally because those who are engaged in violence do not know about rationality, they are broken and confused and their actions are being dictated to them through minds which have an inability to fathom normality and common sense. If you allow your frustration and anger to boil over you will become similarly confused and end up doing and saying things which will only further worsen the difficulties in our already deeply divided society.
I was regularly checking a couple of Facebook pages that have since been shut down which were to do with the Loyalist protests. I know the guy who started The Peace Gathering in Belfast and just before the first one I became very aware how he was being discussed on these pages and to be honest I was a bit worried that he may have been becoming a target. I sent messages to a couple of mutual friends of ours just telling him to watch himself. This is a good example of how something good and righteous can be viewed as being anything but by others. The people running those protest pages were connected to the protests and that whole community was in a state of paranoia so their decision making was all over the place. They were angry and they looked at something which was peaceful and well meaning as being one further attack on their culture and national identity.
Another thing I became concerned about was the manner in which those running the Peace Gathering page were behaving. They were being very standoffish towards people who would come on and try to say that there was a chance of a counter demonstration, which was being talked about at the time. Of course with hindsight both Peace Gatherings went off without incident but the moderators on that page should not have been deleting comments and telling those who were urging caution to wise up because this is Northern Ireland and we should be very careful about how we deal with potential violence here because the past is a reality and indeed the threat of new trouble is still a very real possibility.
That is the thing that surprises me about us. Peaceful people actually believe that they can be so flippant when dealing with those capable of violence and murder. There were going to be families with children at those peace gatherings and that should have been considered above all else. I am not attacking those responsible I am simply urging common sense when being faced with the potential for an escalation of violence and at that point there was a very real threat of it happening.
I could cite an old Christian principle right here and I will but I will use it very loosely. Turn the other cheek! I say I will use it loosely because I know for a fact that if I were attacked physically and I was not unconscious afterward that I would almost certainly respond in kind. I am using it as an example for how we should deal with matters on a collective level. We should not have to assert the fact that civil disorder is wrong because that is obvious, why should we waste our energy? It may seem obvious to us because we are rationally minded but it is plain that people engaged in the violence have a differing outlook, else they would simply not be behaving as such.
So what can we do about it? Like I said earlier I really think that people taking part in those rallies have very noble reasons for doing so and they are clearly on the side of common sense but why should we have to do that? I believe there is another way, a much more righteous way, why don’t we all just go about our lives and live life how it is supposed to be lived? Life is often a series of challenges isn’t it? Well why don’t we take everything as a challenge and just do what we are doing in spite of the protests? When we react we are simply showing the people who are involved in the violence that they are making our lives difficult and that seems to be exactly what they want or rather need to hear. It’s like they have a basic need to feel some type of emotion, any type of emotion to continue and when we respond in the same manner as they first did we kind of make it alright, if you get my meaning. When we all go off on one calling them scumbags and adding our venom to the collective pot of disharmony we’re doing nothing other than feeding it. Remember these people are deeply paranoid so by reacting we are actually telling them that is true. They already believe everyone outside their own communities is against them and what we’re doing by responding to them is saying “Yes, you are a scumbag and you’ll never amount to anything.” This makes them more angry and more apart and thus the cycle continues unabated because the very people who should be showing common sense have allowed themselves to lose control and instead of distancing themselves from confrontational matters they have entered it.
It all sounds very easy doesn’t it? Maybe some people will accuse me of being unrealistic but to be honest I no longer care about how people see me. There is a simple principle I have learned by my own accord and it has changed me into the person that I am from a person who was deeply unhappy and self destructive and that is simply to live and to have gratitude for life itself, simple. Life is amazing and the sad fact of it is that most of us do not see it that way. We struggle and fight with ourselves and each other because we are unhappy but you must make your own happiness and you will not do that by offering opposition to anyone else for any reason. If you believe my theories on happiness to be airy fairy then I am afraid you may well be more imbalanced than you care to admit.
If others are doing things which we deem to be wrong it is none of our business for they will have to deal with the resulting energy Karma that they create. If people are trying to make you react ignore them and live life with a smile and a kind word for those who wish to live it similarly.
Anger is not how we should be dealing with people who are angry for that only serves to further their anger, let them be angry and their anger will in time dissipate when they realise it is not having the aeffect that they thought it would.
When we mock human beings who are insecure and emotionally and socially isolated we just drive them further away and they will in time come back and attack us for people are merely energy, that is all, it’s just energy and we should keeping our own energy in check above all else and those who live in a disharmonious way will see how we are living and they will want it but they will not want it if we are being aggressive towards them for that is simply showing them that we are just like them.
We need to be more grateful for life itself. We are taking life and each other for granted and allowing our emotional instability to create what we currently have which is a world of deep, deep division and disharmony.
I am sorry for repeating myself so much I kind of went off on one and wrote this last few paragraphs on auto pilot. I am not doing any of this for myself. If we keep disrespecting people who are already without feeling it is us who are responsible for their actions, not them, because we are supposed to be the ones who can see common sense so we should start acting like we can.