‘Grace is the ability to see the person not the problem.’
Putting pen to paper is a personal journey.
You write for yourself but as you continue to express your feelings and experiences via the written word a few things happen;
- Your skill increases, so your ability to translate emotion into effective communication improves.
- If your work gets published or read by others you begin to find common ground with people and communities who gain comfort, joy and clarity in your expression.
- Your opinion annoys and polarises.
All three opportunities are not the writer’s authentic goal.
They just happen.
It just is.
And opposition is the fuel to any fire.
But like anything in life, opposing forces either collide or repel.
Either force can create a positive or a negative.
Again, that’s how things work.
And peoples’ reactions are fundamentally the same.
Not always, but most of the time.
There are the colliders and controllers, and there are the avoiders and peace makers.
It’s a simplistic view to put all people into two camps, but it serves a solution.
For me anyway, as it highlights a societal issue in Western capitalist countries.
Democracy is based on the two-party system and capitalism grew and propagated via the colliders and controllers.
Those with the power and the influence control through collision.
And the avoiders and peacemakers become a labour pool and cruelly, a source of derision and mockery for the controllers.
These people can often be portrayed as failures.
Humility and gentleness in capitalism is not celebrated.
It is exploited.
So, the vision and values Western capitalism celebrates, automatically excludes 50% of the population.
Admirable qualities for the budding superstar but attributes that separate the quieter, vulnerable part of society from a respected, communal voice.
My father lived by the mantra of ‘dedication, determination and discipline.’
Because I love and respect my Dad and I witnessed his ‘success’, I adopted his mantra.
For a short period of time it seemed to work.
I got a degree, married my childhood sweetheart, had houses and cars and was the father of three beautiful boys.
We had an amazing business and made money.
My cars and credit cards were shiny and my suits and shoes displayed all the right labels.
My Swiss watch hung just so on my tanned wrist.
Looking at me you may have thought this guy had his shit together.
But inside I was unravelling.
I was engulfed with self-doubt and anxiety.
None of my acquisitions and purchases made me happy.
This baffled me because I had been bought up to believe the propaganda of success.
Success in brash, noisy Sydney was all about what you had and how you looked.
And my reality was the exact opposite because the more I owned the sicker I became.
And the more I tried to gather the sicker I got.
I found out that success in Western capitalism does not invite acceptance it in fact creates separation.
“Observation has shown me that most of what I was taught and most of my belief systems, values, and ethics have created dissatisfaction, resentment, and fear.
Fear creates anxiety, and anxiety is like a piece of blue litmus paper soaking up fear.
And I live in a world that prospers on fear.
Fear of failure.
Fear of going without.
The Western world survives on selling the fear of going without, via a method of propaganda, to sell products that do not remove the fear but make us more fearful and unwell.”
So, is there a solution to the fundamental opposition created by Western society?
But there is a personal resolution.
A way of living.
An easier, softer way.
To live without resentment, fear and aggression.
In my humble opinion is comes down to grace.
And grace is not a religious term.
Grace for me takes three forms;
- The ability to listen to another human being with polar opposite opinions and not react negatively or feel it is a personal attack.
- The ability to allow the other person to make their own choices, even when those choices are damaging or wrong (in your opinion)
- The acceptance that you are just one person among many and there are bigger forces at play.
For me, a person who operates from grace is fully evolved.
Yet grace is fleeting and requires a couple of challenging fundamentals;
- Complete self-awareness and
- Living in community.
Grace dissipates quickly when we step back into ego and anxiety, and remember, Western society is fundamentally a collider not a collaborator.
And collision causes separation.
And anxiety and ego thrive in separation and loneliness.
So, to be a true disruptor you have to step into other people and create community.
Not push away.
When we push away we retreat into our own false beliefs.
Of self and others.
And we create enemies that only exist between our ears.
And that is an unfortunate way to live.