Day 536: Take a Look in the Mirror

There are a lot of things in this world that I don't understand, human behaviour being at the top of the list. I don't understand violence, abuse, exploitation, greed... The funny thing is that I do understand these things, and I can confidently say that most people do. We all understand how you can hurt someone else or use them for your personal gain - there's a good reason the world is the way it is - and that is the fact that we are actually doing all these horrible things, it's all just different degrees of bad behaviour.

The world truly is a reflection of who we are.

Have you ever said something nasty to spite someone - and then justified your actions so that you can still feel good about yourself?

Have you ever kept something to yourself so that you didn't have to share it with anyone, just because you love it so much?

Have you ever used someone's feelings for you to get what you want from them, even though it may hurt them?

Have you ever justified low-wage jobs and rationalised that the people working these jobs are really bad with money cos they always seem to be running out of it?

Have you ever competed against someone for a job or prize?

Now, if you break down these small things into their basic parts, and then break down the seemingly more despicable actions of other people into their basic parts, you'll notice an interesting thing: You are doing exactly the same things as those "horrible people" you see in the news. Obviously it's all varying degrees, but the fact that we are actually doing these things too makes it that much easier for us to not demand change in others because (a) we don't want to look like hypocrites and (b) we kinda like doing these things.

The consequences of allowing these moments of abuse to exist within ourselves and within others is exactly what we see when we look at the world and the people in it. Take a good look, every blockbuster movie is promoting these principles of selfishness that essentially boil down to one thing "Do whatever it takes to get what you want, because whatever it is you want is your RIGHT and therefore you can never be WRONG"; every politician is going on about people's RIGHTs; in school you're taught to think a certain way and see the world in a certain light - all of this, unopposed, leads to the world being the way it is. Everybody is justifying everyone else's behaviour so that they don't have to stop being that way.

We have to BE the change we want to see in the world - we have to stop those moments of abuse we allow in our own lives. We have to live as examples for all to see what is really possible. We have to be willing to look at ourselves objectively and assess whether we really are who we want to be - we have to be willing to see where we need to change. We have to be willing to recognise our own mistakes. We must be humble and recognise that we are not as great as we thought we were. We have to be willing to recognise the part we play in making the world the way it is.