The world is in chaos.
The world is divided, filled with anger, hostility and hatred.
This is what you see every day: Protests turning violent, conflicts between citizens and the police, friends fighting friends, government scandals, conspiracies, terror attacks…
The list is endless.
Whether you like it or not, we are in this together. Not one country is free from this. Not one city is free from this. Not a single person is free from this.
This is hard even for someone who doesn’t care for politics. Even they get drawn into this mess.
You get bombarded with negativity every day. You hear about the same people fighting over the same thing day in and day out.
In such an age of division and hatred, is there even a way to stay calm and happy?
When is thing going to end?
How can I ever find a moment of peace?
In fact, not only can you learn to be calm and serene in the eye of the storm, in the end you will also transcend your old self, and come out a better person because of it.
1. Identify What You Can and Cannot Change
The world is in the middle of change.
Whether it is going in a direction you hope it would or not, it is not something you can control.
Many of us refuse to accept change, but nothing can stay unchanged. Change is the only constant. Change is natural. It is nature itself.
Nature is like the weather, sometimes it is sunny. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it rages a thunderstorm. You can’t control any of this.
Nature is an unpredictable and unstoppable force. As mere humans, we can only adapt to the force of nature.
If you have no interest in politics, this is even more so. Limit your information intake as much as possible. Read only what is essential, and fit your life around it. Give up all judgment, and just adapt.
After all, you are not trying to be an activist – why stress yourself out?
But if you are an activist, that’s another story. Of course you are going to have to immerse yourself in politics. Of course you are going to air your views publicly. Of course you are fighting for change.
But having a voice doesn’t mean you suddenly have this amazing power to bend everything to your will. Most activists seem to think so. But remember, you don’t.
You can preach your cause as loudly as possible, but not everybody is obliged to listen to you.
And if no one wants to believe in your story, learn to be okay with it. Sure, if you fail, try again. Don’t blame others for not following your cause. Don’t whine and complain how nobody in the world believes you.
Everyone has their own free will to believe whatever they want to. It is not something you can control. Learn to walk away at the right time.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Conflicts
When you meet someone who shares a different opinion than you do, what is your immediate response?
You get frustrated. You get mad. You don’t understand why people can be so blind. Then you try to convince him otherwise.
This is where things get out of hand.
You accuse him of being stupid, ignorant or crazy. You call him names. You talk down on him until he completely submits to you.
If you are the person who is being talked down on, how do you think you will respond?
You defend your position. You don’t want be disrespected just because you believe something different.
Either way, the result? An argument that goes nowhere.
Ask yourself: When is an argument ever useful? When is the last time you argue with someone and it ended peacefully in total agreement? This never happens.
So don’t try to “convert” people forcefully or try to win an argument in any way. Because you never will.
If people reject your views, let them. People are free to believe anything they want to believe, and it is not up to you to decide. Let it go.
Even if you disagree with someone, especially with your loved ones, don’t let yourself slip into argue-mode. Every argument ends in hate, and it will leave scars on your relationships with others.
This doesn’t mean you should let people walk all over you. Instead of arguing, you can calmly present your point of view, and leave it at that. If anyone still wants to pick a fight with you after that, just cut the topic before it turns into an argument.
3. No Violence No Matter what
You almost hear stories of protests turning violent every day. This happens all around the world.
Two groups of people get into a heated argument. When they realize they can’t change their opponent’s opinions no matter what they say, they get frustrated. They don’t believe they are not getting their ways.
In vain, they curse, insult, and ridicule each other. And when they see even that doesn’t work, they get more frustrated. From that frustration comes anger. At last, they resort to violence.
Violence is not persuasion. It is suppression and barbarianism. Violence shatters families, destroy livelihoods, and takes away lives. It corrupts the ideology you so proudly stand for.
Perhaps more importantly, it corrupts your morality. It diminishes your worth as a person.
Verbal attacks and insults make you look childish, idiotic and whiney.
Physical violence makes you a brute, an uncivilized barbarian, and a criminal.
No matter how righteous you think you are, violence is never justified. You should win people over with facts, with logic, and with your virtue – not fists, bullets and Molotovs.
4. Always Be Mindful and Exert Self-Control
There never has been a time where self-control and mindfulness has been more important.
Without self-control, you will get angry, get upset and get frustrated just by reading or hearing the news.
You will end up hurting your friends, families. You will stress yourself over things you never have control over. You will do something you regret.
It will drive you nuts.
Don’t let this happen. Don’t let all this negativity get to you. They may affect your livelihood, the society you live in, and the laws you abide by. But they have no power over your own inner peace.
A rule of thumb: be extra aware when the topic of politics comes up.
Guard yourself with mindfulness. This is how you gain control over your mind. This is how you exert self-control when needed. This is how you do the right thing in the heat of the moment.
How to Thrive and Evolve in Division
Division is not the problem. Human beings have existed in division for eons. We are divided into nations, races, tribes, companies, and even classes at school.
Sometimes, we are able to co-exist and thrive together. Sometimes, division ends in bloodshed.
The wicked thing about division is that can be filled with hatred. People become blinded and mindless. People make up stories to accuse, attack and insult. People justify their violence with lies.
This is the time we are living in.
Don’t get me wrong: Rivalry is healthy. Civilizations thrive because of it. Too complacent and we are stagnant, we will never improve.
But we have long evolved passed all these childish verbal abuses, baseless accusations, physical threats, witch hunting, and actual violence.
What we need is peaceful and friendly competitions, where everything is based on logic, morals, and facts. When we do this, we no longer fight each other. We work together toward the greater good.
What we need are mindful and rational people with self-control, who don’t force their ideology on people and events they can’t control, who solve problems mindfully without resorting to mindless violence.
What we need is you. We need you to become that person. You can be that person. You can bring peace to yourself.
And with your newfound inner peace, you will light up this world.
Everything begins with you.
So, let’s get going.
I’m counting on you.
What To Do Next
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