Archive for October, 2012

October 2, 2012

ABC of Life – Harm No One

Harm no one? That’s easy I thought. Or is it really? I believe the path to not harming anyone is a path of compassion, open mindedness, and thought.

Growing up, my mother always taught me, “The road paved to hell is made of good intentions.” I believe that most people would never intentionally cause harm to another person. Of course, there are malicious and manipulative people out there who do not care, but I’m lucky to say that I know mostly compassionate individuals, who would not intentionally harm others. However, I have come across those who think that what benefits them will benefit others and they try to impose those beliefs, morals, and principals on others without realizing what harm it might cause that person. They often do this because they had that person’s best interest in mind, but failed to take into account other belief systems.

I think it is okay to have good intentions to help others, but we can’t always assume that what we think is good for someone else actually is. With 8 billion people in this world, can we really claim that there is one right way of living when there are so many different cultures and ways of being in this world? I believe, when we think we’re right, we’re acting out of fear of being wrong, especially when we impose that “rightness” on someone else. Basically, what I am trying to say is the only true way to harm no one is to be open and accepting to others, in that way we are being compassionate and less harmful. Take into consideration the media or social media and how it might affect those in our lives. I see many news stories or posts about people’s politics and their religious beliefs. I don’t want to grand stand here and say that doing so is either right or wrong, do what you want with your media and believe what you will, but I feel that sometimes, we don’t take into consideration how what we say can hurt another. Words can be just as powerful as fists. By being right we have to make someone else wrong. This judgement is hurtful. There should be no argument to that. People’s feelings, self-esteem, way of life are hurt by our words and our actions.

We also have to think about how our words and actions affect others to live a life without harming anyone. We can’t control how another might feel from our actions, but we can be conscious to how our actions do affect people. I don’t want to say that any of us our responsible for others reactions, we are not. But if we want to live a life of compassion, open mindedness and not being harmful, then being present to how our actions do affect others is important.

I really have taken this to heart recently and realize that there have been a few things that I have done this year that might have harmed others and others that don’t even know it. I’ll be honest, there was a certain amount of guilt associated with some of those actions which caused me some stress and worry. I have chosen to eliminate those actions from my life and live a life more conscious to others and even myself. In the end, I really am being kinder to others and even kinder to myself. I shifted to being more open about others and I even feel happier because of these actions. I still have a few changes to make, but evolution is a process and not always immediate.