by Eamonn O’Brien, posted originally on
“Live and let live” means we all try to be very tolerant in the various communities we live. When we walk down this road of compassion and tolerance we see that the inequities of society have left deep dysfunctional pitfalls in our path. WE have to be always mindful that tolerance can lead to “oh well” – apathy; which leads to “I didn’t do that” – denial; which ultimately leads to enabling or saying “it’s not my problem” or it’s someone else’s anger. The most important thing regardless of how hard it gets, is that when we stop standing up to abuse – we give it” license” or permission to hold us hostage to the darkness and continued abuse. It can also turn our goodness backwards leaving us frustrated and with a sense of hopelessness – especially when it is in our own families, friends and within our communities.
Be careful in the communities where you live and work, as there are others whose own darkness scares them and they do not want to be exposed. When you take up the courage and speak-out they can group up in a wild cannibalistic fervor and feed of your goodness until you are reduced to their level of self-contempt. They hide behind titles of pseudo-healers, enlightened intellectualism and tiny meaningless bureaucracies. It is not unusual for peacemakers and mediators who have been walking this road, to endure countless attacks and attempts to reduce their efforts, while helping other peoples. They are ridiculed, maligned and ultimately accused of the very darkness these people quietly try to hide while they tremble in fear of exposure about their pitiful darkness. If you want to see who the liars and backstabbers truly are, look them right in the eye and smile as you speak your truth. They will look down and away as they know you can truly see their contempt and their fear of been exposed for what they are. They will group together and repeatedly anally resuscitate each other with elaborate self indulgent “hind-licking maneuvers,” while blaming you for their fecal outlook and problems.
Community or social activism can equally be a place for dysfunctional dead-enders who have no meaningful purpose in their lives but to feed of the goodness of others. They raise their voices to the cause and at the same time use the movement or cause for indulging in a dysfunctional orgy of contempt. They are always surrounding themselves with other collaborators of disruption, promoting a righteous cause while hiding in plain sight. Please do not attempt to take these people on alone, as it could leave you with a terrible taste in your mouth and a dispirited view of your home and communities. There are good people doing their personal best to bring about positive social changes. It would be wise to step around those that use ANY moment for social change as their personal “stage to rage”. It is much more productive to find the busy people, that through their words and actions display compassion and tolerance while also expressing clear distinct boundaries of respect and dignity.
The lesson of paddling down a river filled with sharp rocks is not to test the strength of your canoe by BANGING into them, but using the rocks to develop your skill in handling the canoe to go around them. The river is the path in life, the rocks are the obstacles and the canoe is the vessel of your Spirit.