A Current of Thoughts

Sherri Maxwell

Image by the authorCurrent events in the US and UK have inspired thoughts on the multitude of conflicts in the world. How do we resolve them, I wonder?

Immigrant vs citizen (Britain leaving the European Union), the 1 per cent vs the 99 per cent, black vs white, police vs civilian, and endless religious differences . . . this conflict is created by us. It is a division that doesn’t really have to exist—it is man-made.

When we label, it separates us. How can we describe ourselves without creating conflict?

We want to fit in, we want to be a part of a group so that we feel a sense of belonging and are not so lonely in the world. And yet, being uncomfortable is a place of learning and growth.

A counterpoint to this is that we label ourselves in order to stand out and be different. We don’t want to be like everybody else, we want to be special—an individual thinking we are better than the rest, when we are just different.

The continual conflict we create in all our man-made systems, from politics, religion, and family to culture and the “self,” is an endless cycle of suffering.

There are serious situations, those that need tending to, that are far bigger than us, like the environment, world hunger, and progress as a civilization. We distract ourselves from doing things that will have a positive impact on the world and each other with fabricated conflict.

Time waits for no one, and yet we think it will, and would rather delay and create yet another conflict. We do this in order to make ourselves feel more important than the next person.

There is no real winner in an “us vs them” modus operandi. We delude ourselves by thinking “next time I will win,” but will it ever end if we continue on with an “A vs B” mindset, never to progress to the rest of the alphabet?

No one is more special than anyone else; we are all part of the same group called “humans.”

Understanding how we interact and react in society is just the beginning. Once mindfulness is a part of the equation, we have a choice.

Maybe if we thought of ourselves as an ever-changing process rather than as a solid “person” we may be more adaptable, constantly upgrading to new information or life experiences with an operating system of mindful interaction.

We can still be unique and yet flow more in harmony with humanity and nature if we choose.

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