Breaking the Cycle
When I look at those people our society has labeled as the most corrupt, evil and devoid of any basic human quality, I see something quite different. Knowing that Hate is merely Fear parading in a Halloween mask, I cannot help but to see a scared child cowering in a corner. I don’t see the criminal, but rather the possible scenarios that led him to make poor decisions.
Frank Warren has famously said, “It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.” But what of the ones who buckle under the pressure?
In the course of this victimization, they lose trust for not only whomever brings them harm, but the rest of society as well. And frankly, they have every right to feel that way. After all, a piece of their humanity has been stripped away.
Take a child whose father beats him or whose mother doesn’t feed him. If he attends public school there are at least twelve years that he comes face to face with dozens of other children and even adults who are intentionally or accidentally ignorant to his plight. This child cannot tell the difference. His developing brain understands that these people must see the bruises or protruding ribs, but he cannot rationalize why they do not act. Over time, he’s embedded with a false perception that the world is comprised solely of victims and villains. Exhausted by the overwhelming sense of worthlessness & abuse, he may decide (consciously or otherwise) that it’s better to be a villain than a victim. If he chooses to victimize others, the cycle will continue.
There is another choice, of course. There are countless people who’ve overcome horrendous childhoods to achieve great things. The difference I see, is that at some point someone showed them the alternative of compassion. It could be as simple as a school teacher recommending a book or a classmate offering part of her lunch. The tiniest gesture really can change a life.
How can I be so certain? You see, I was that child who silently suffered unimaginable emotional & physical abuse at a tender age. (Not at the hands of my Mama & Papa, mind you.) Obviously, I didn’t choose a path of destruction & disruption. But would have happened had I not had flickers of love & support from so many people? Those moments kept me alive & kept my heart intact.
Every child has the potential to save the world or destroy it, just as each of us has the potential to end his suffering or ignore it. We may not be able to save every child, but if each of us took it upon ourselves to empower our future leaders when & where we can… how wonderful might tomorrow be?
The ship was sinking— and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, “We’ve got to get the lifeboats in the water right away.”
But the crew said, “First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we’ll take care of the lifeboats.”
Then the women said, “First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait.”
The racial minorities said, “First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly.”
The captain said, “These are all important issues, but they won’t matter a damn if we don’t survive. We’ve got to lower the lifeboats right away!”
But the religionists said, “First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats.”
Then the pro-life contingent said, “First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else.”
The right-to-choose contingent said, “First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we’ll help with the lifeboats.”
The socialists said, “First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that’s done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats.”
The animal-rights activists said, “First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can’t let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats.”
Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned.
The last thought of more than one of them was, “I never dreamed that solving humanity’s problems would take so long— or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY.”
A battle between Love and Hate has been waging since the dawn of mankind. This war has consumed our lives in such a way that every word we speak stems from one or the other, but are we sure we know our enemy? What is Hate?
Many have argued that Hate is merely a mask worn by Fear. People respond to Fear in strange and surprising ways, ranging from Anger, Sadness, Disappointment and Loneliness, but Fear is at the core of our negative responses. If we’re able to understand that the core of communication stems from either Love or Fear, we have invaluable leverage in how an interaction plays out. Responding to Fear with yet more Fear will only add fuel to fire and increase the likelihood of permanent damage to a relationship. Only Love has a chance to overcome Fear.
Made this some years back, still one of my favorites even tho I turned in my #vegan card for a #vegetarian one. Haha.
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Q:Your stage name is dumb. Whats your real name?
Believe it or not— my parents named me Kristen Christian. Maybe they loved me so much they had to name me twice. Maybe they just have a corny sense of humor. Both are probably true. Either way, I’ve grown to love my quirky name.
Q:there are like a billion things i want to ask you that won't fit in this ugly box. can you do a google hangout or reddit ama or something? please???
That’s a great idea! I’ll look into it. Stay tuned to my Facebook page for details.
In the meantime, feel free to send any questions you may have. I’ll be glad to answer them.