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To Those Who Aim to Cause Pain

Today you chose hate instead of hope. You chose to hurt instead of heal. You chose power over patience. You chose judgment over justice. You chose enslavement over enlightenment.

You made a choice today. A choice that will forever alter the course of your life and the lives of those around you. The lives of your closest friends and family, and the lives of perfect strangers. You, yes you. You chose pain.

The pain inside yourself is the only explanation for your desire to cause pain in others. And your pain is only a symptom of fear. Your fear is due to a lack of understanding, and your lack of understanding is due to an unwillingness to learn. Your unwillingness to learn is due to your resistance to change, and your resistance to change is due to a theory of change which is fundamentally flawed.

You believe that change requires loss. Loss of status, loss of comfort, loss of identity. You are right, change requires all of those things. But in choosing to focus on the negative, you neglect to acknowledge the positive.

With every change comes tremendous gain, even if you have to look hard to find it. Change is an opportunity for growth, for openness, for beginning, for realignment, for progress, for healing. It can ultimately provide you with far greater status, far greater comfort, and a far grander identity and purpose than you ever dreamed possible. Had you not entertained the change, you never would have discovered it.

When the pain is deep, fear becomes a way of life. You feel out of sync, disconnected. The only way to find harmony — a pleasing and consistent wholeness — is to cultivate empathy. To work to understand the feelings of another. To challenge your assumptions, your values, your attachment to the past. You need to observe, you need to ask, and you need to listen.

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
~ Abraham Lincoln

Empathy is the antidote to loneliness. Empathy is the antidote to bullying. Empathy is the antidote to fear. Empathy is the antidote to shame.

Empathy creates harmony, within yourself and amongst others. And in order to restore harmony, we each have to form the bonds today.

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  • http://mediajunkie.com xian

    agree with all and worth writing but any hope of reaching the presumed addressees at all?

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

      Yes, I’m full of hope. They walk among us.

      • gmulder

        May I ask who the presumed addressees are?

        • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

          Didn’t you read it?

          • http://gmulder.de gmulder

            I did – so I understood that it is anyone using violence to further their ends anywhere in the world. I was not sure if that was intended, so I asked probably a little imprecisely. So is this what you mean?

          • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog Whitney Hess

            I didn’t reference physical violence. It’s addressed “to those who aim to cause pain.”

  • http://gmulder.de gmulder

    Ah, thank you, so I read imprecisely. I apologize.

  • Craig

    Nice Whitney. I was going to write a post called “Now we know where the “a**h*les” are, but I think your response is more appropriate.