Why Respond from Non-judgmental Awareness and Action

Buck Aware of PicQuote of the Day: “As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.” — O’Sensei


You resource your Power to create peace when you observe and take action on what you see, hear, feel and sense without judgment.

Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give to it. For instance, some say “It is an awful day” when it is raining. It may be awful to that person, to another “It is a wonderful day” because they like curling up by a fire at home. A non-judgmental statement would be “It’s raining.”

Likewise with acts of violence.

To meet violence with violence does not cultivate peace. To, in anger, judge violent actions as wrong, while judging your own violent response as right, undermines peace.

You communicate non-violently when you speak of the facts. For instance, “The act was violent. Innocent people were hurt and killed. Their families and those uninjured, who witnessed the moment of detonation, will live with the memory in a way we, at a distance, will never know.”

Being aware of your own fear and outrage at violent acts, invites resolution of fear and outrage for all those times others were violent, in word or action, toward you. The judgment, “I’m right to be angry and punish you,” sets you above another, judging yourself as better than them, even as you want to inflict violence similar to theirs. That attitude does not invite collaborative efforts to resolve important issues.

When you become aware of your own need to inflict harm, but step back and sit with the awareness and a prayer to resolve your desire to hurt another person, you open the door to a deep peace within that can look at the violent acts of others knowing hurt people hurt people.

I am not advocating a do nothing approach. A forgiving attitude does not allow the behavior to continue. It shifts your perspective so you make conscious choices about how to prevent future incidences. Instead of looking to blame and punish, a forgiving heart seeks to find and resolve the cause of such acts.

Hurt people, hurt people.

Peaceful people do not do violent acts.

Words of hatred and anger are violent forms of communication that alienate rather than bring people together to explore and resolve underlying causes. To authentically approach uncovering and resolving the cause of violence, calls you to speak and take action non-violently about these issues.

When you stop labeling events and people as good, bad, right and wrong etc. you are left with discussing the facts. “It’s raining. How shall we spend the day?” “There were bombs set off at the finish line and many people were maimed, injured or killed. How can we help? How can we prevent this from happening? How can we be more aware of what is happening around us so we better protect each other?”

People who judge and blame are acting out in grief, fear and a feeling of powerlessness.

Blaming, punishing and judging is how we avoid feeling these feelings. We try to make them go away by talking violently about the perpetrators of violent actions, even when we don’t yet know who they are. Yet, in doing so we stir the fear and play into the fight, flight, freeze reactions that let others control and make decisions for us.

In the words of Viktor Frankl, “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

How do you cultivate and teach peace…

a. with your children?
b. with the co-worker that is negative?
c. with the neighbor who plays their music to loud?

If we cannot be peaceful in word and action with those close to home, how will we ever affect a change in violence on our planet?

To bring peace to others, we get to become aware of our own violent thoughts, feelings and actions, no matter how minor. We get to take our Power by acknowledging awareness and using it to cultivate peace and forgiveness within our own heart toward those who have shaped our lives and those who mirror our inner unresolved violence.

I recommend James O’Dea’s book, “Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st Century Peace Ambassador.” He does a heartfelt, compassionate and humbling job of calling us all to cultivate inner peace and be peaceful as we engage the issues we face today.

I also recommend Marshall Rosenberg’s book, “Non-violent Communication” for tips on how to create peaceful solution-focused dialogues about violent events.
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