I’ve been thinking about the subject of hope lately, and evolution. I’ve been thinking about the ideas of “good” and “bad” and what it is that makes something one or the other. Last night I was scrolling through the Facebook and I saw this image pictured below. It really resonated with me because I felt like that’s what hope is all about. Evolving. In having hope, you’re not giving up on the idea that others can evolve, and you’re assisting them in their evolution.
I was having a conversation with my husband yesterday about human nature and I found his outlook to be a little bleak. He said something to the order of probably 80% of the people in the world operate from selfish desires and take no regard for other people in their actions. He said in a nutshell that he feels the world a corrupt place headed for hell or something equally nasty.
While my husband and I get along very well and agree on most subjects, that’s just one we have to agree to disagree on. :P While I agree that there are big problems in the world, and that there are some nasty people out there. I don’t think the number is even remotely close to 80%, and I’m adverse to even putting a number on that, because I don’t think that it’s as cut and dry as someone is good or bad.
I think part of evolving is recognizing the inherent divinity in ourselves and others. Realizing that people might fuck up from time to time, but that doesn’t mean they are horrible people, it just means they have gone through some shit, and they’re still growing just like all the rest of us. I tend to get a little judgmental or even angry from time to time, and I’ll admit that. I realize it’s because I can see what people are capable of and I get disappointed when they don’t seem to measure up to the often high standards I find I place on myself and others.
I was listening to a Panic To Freedom community call yesterday and they were talking about something that really hit home, which I find myself guilty of doing sometimes. I find myself guilty of “mothering people” sometimes and I point out shit I see that could be (in my opinion) done better. I don’t do this from a space of wanting to make people feel bad, I do it because I want to help. However sometimes it’s taken the wrong way, and sometimes I forget that maybe they don’t always want or even need my opinion or advice.
This is another example where my husband and I are a little bit different. I’m kind of a “helpy-helperton” sort of person. I see something that appears wrong to me and I want to fix it! I’m an idealist, I want to change the world and make it a better place and all of that good stuff! My husband comes from a much more reserved perspective, that is he’s of the opinion that it’s better to leave well enough alone and just do your own thing.
This has caused me to do some real soul-searching on the idea of hope, and my ways of going about helping people. This is what I’ve come up with, just like everything else, I think it’s a case of balance. You can always help others to evolve, but they have to come to it in their own time. If you force it on someone you’re not doing them any favors because they aren’t actually evolving,they are just hoping you’ll STFU.
So I think the best way to promote H.O.P.E. or helping other people evolve, is to first set an example. Let other people see it’s possible through your actions, live the ideals you would like to see the world embrace, people will naturally remove their defenses and follow your example if they see it works.
It reminds me of the Aesop’s Fable about a contest between the north wind and the sun over who was stronger. A traveler was passing by and the North Wind boasted that it was so strong it could tear the traveler’s cloak away from him. The sun and the wind made a bet about who could remove the traveler’s cloak.
The wind blew and blew and the harder it blew the closer the traveler wrapped his cloak around himself. The wind exhausted itself attempting to remove the man’s cloak and eventually gave up. Then it was the sun’s turn. The sun just shined his light on the man, and the man grew warmer and warmer until eventually he removed the cloak of his own accord.
The moral of the story is that trying to force others into doing or thinking a certain way often backfires and they resist even more. It is much more effective to shine light and warmth on people instead. I think with regard to H.O.P.E. it’s better to be as the sun and light the way for others to see, to show them the path and let them make the decision to walk on it, and make yourself available to walk with them, should they ask for your help.