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Today’s section from Descending into War, Descending into Contempt, pp. 41-46:
Investing in Potential
This book has offered explanations for the cycling of contempt and conflict within human existence. Contempt and conflict have become catalysts for distancing from the ideal. They destroy societies and they harm future generations.
Ideal is possible when contempt and conflict are moderated. Events will always occur that enable contempt and conflict to simmer, even boil, but they aren’t in control when deliberate actions are taken to ignore them.
Ignoring the feelings that ignite contempt and conflict builds resistance to them and affects the rhythm of life vibrationally. Overcoming negative forces and choosing to bring out compassion pave the way for serenity.
Reaching potential as a society is possible through daily connection to environmental forces (being part of nature, feeling its changes, and protecting it); self-nurturance (creating habits that uplift); group efforts to prevent conflict; personal responsibility to resist self-interest; and gratitude for the gifts of the region and the efforts of society (individual societal members, respectful connection to people who are related, who provide services, and who become close or peripheral acquaintances).
The requirements for reaching potential as a society, which were presented above, can be rewritten with more detail:
Daily connection to environmental forces
- Each day, observe plants and notice their uniqueness: the height and breadth of trees, the colors and shapes of flowers, and the structure and power of leaves.
- Each day, notice the subtle and not so subtle changes in the seasons and smell the changes.
- Each day, nurture elements of nature: outdoor plants, indoor plants, or littered areas.
- Each day, connect to pets or notice animals that are cared for by others or live freely. Marvel at their antics.
- Each day, when you taste nature—through eating fresh fruit or vegetables—taste their connection to the earth and taste their gift of sustenance. The sustenance from the earth is a gift.
- Just like an infant, feel your body’s basic needs, and as an adult, responsibly provide responses:
– If your body is thirsty, drink water.
– If your body is hungry, eat nutritious foods.
– If your sense of snuggling calls out for closeness, hug a family member or good friend.
– If tiredness demands rest, make rest a priority.
– When demands to rid the body of urine and feces require action, respond and don’t ignore the important need to remove waste.
– Stay curious.
- Know that the body needs to move and stay put. If your days are spent in constant motion, add more moments of stillness. If your days are spent being inactive, add intentional movement throughout the day.
- Nurture your talents and desires to create.
- For men: know that your body needs to release energy differently from women. Participate in games or competitions with other men that provide (1) challenges that are physical and mental, (2) reasons to yell and scream, and (3) adrenaline release.
Group efforts to prevent conflict
- Speak out against messages of prejudice.
- Choose leaders who value inclusiveness.
- Stop actions that reflect superiority thinking.
Personal responsibility to resist self-interest
- Regularly practice benevolent thinking: visualize kindness or envisage yourself being compassionate.
- See the turf you traverse as being in your hands to care for. Relate to it as if you are its caregiver, even if you are there temporarily. Help beautify and tend the area—alone or with others.
- Push yourself to be less judgmental of family members, people who are very different from you, and rivals. When judgmental thoughts invade your thinking, switch to thoughts about emptiness. Let the empty visualizations stay in your mind until the judgmental movement passes.
- Treat all service providers with kindness.
Gratitude for the gifts of the region and the efforts of society
- Think about things in your life for which you are grateful. The things can be dear to you, like a beloved person, or mundane, like grocery stores. From time to time, make a list of these things, and be aware of all that is in your life for which you can be grateful.
- Besides treating all service providers with kindness, show them gratitude as well.
- Explore gratitude rituals that instill expressions of thanks. Religions and support groups have such rituals. If established rituals don’t appeal to you, create rituals that express your personal gratitude.
- When unwanted events cause despair, open to supportive people and release into the comfort of their connection with you.
Next section: “How People Can Connect”