I don’t have the answer. I really don’t think there is one answer to most complicated human questions. Often there are many steps that lead us towards better outcomes. This is true on the individual level and I think it must be true on the societal level as well. When people first come into therapy, I try to advocate for taking small steps that can’t hurt. Often these small steps make things a lot better. We tend to underestimate how helpful small steps can be.
When the problem is bigger and more complicated, like when people kill innocent victims, I wonder if some of the same ideas can apply. What if we all did something that doesn’t hurt? Even if it’s not the answer, I have to wonder, what would happen if….
- we chose to articulate each day the things we like and admire about others?
- we decided to listen first and respond only when the other person is done and feels that we were truly present for them?
- we told those we love that we love them, always, no matter what?
- our actions and our words communicated to the people we interact with that we see them as an equally important and valuable human being?
- we can accept the follies and flaws of ourselves as part of our humanity, even as we strive to make better choices and positive changes?
- we evaluated what’s really important in our lives and consistently devoted time to these priorities?
- we spend as much time noticing what’s right, what’s good, and what’s generous in the world as we do pointing out flaws and criticizing?
- we remain mindful that despite our differences, humans share most of the same genome, one home planet, and an overwhelming majority want peace, safety, and love?
I don’t know… but I wonder. I do know that I wish all of you a peaceful holiday season and a hopeful and happy New Year.