World in crisis: here’s how you can respond – pt. 3

Just as when things started to look up, something else happens. Just as a glimmer of hope appears, it fades away in the face of another issue. Pandemic, vaccine, fear. Political crisis, elections, doubt. Disaster, relief, abandonment. A roller coaster drives us through fear, hope and disappointment.

How do we react? How do we respond? How can we manage these conflicting emotions and stay healthy?

How can we keep our relationships healthy? Can we even help others in the face of this global turmoil?

There are different things we can do. Some are more helpful than others. Some are better than others. Let me help you explore this.

What not to do: Yelling, screaming and agression

In Part 2 we looked at how we shouldn’t yell and scream in anger, but rather start a dialogue by talking and asking questions. How to do that, you can read here.

3. What not to do: Harden Yourself to the World and Putting up Walls

Toughen up. Harden up. Softy.

These and other words have been uttered by parents, friends, teachers, role models for many years. Probably, you have used these, too. Their motivation is often not one to put someone down. Often these things are said to prepare people for “the real world”; to help them face challenges.

However, often “toughening up” is explained as putting up walls by ignoring others, their views, feelings and even circumstances. It is explained as a tool to focus on our own survival and even winning.

We put up walls and harden ourselves from what others think, not only of us, but also of the world entirely. We start living in our own fortress, a city protected by high walls, a paradise of our own making.

Ignoring the outside world and the needs of others, we try to trump them. Be better than others, win, conquer and control – these become our aims. These aims affect what we think of others, what we say about them and how we treat them.

As a result, there are millions of private city-states in our society. Walled-in paradises where we are the single inhabitant and king.

However, the harder we try to defend our little paradise from others, the more vulnerable and lonely we become. With higher walls comes a narrower horizon. The people that can help us and add value to our lives, become further and further from our reach.

However, the harder we try to defend our little paradise from others, the more vulnerable and lonely we become. With higher walls comes a narrower horizon. The people that can help us and add value to our lives, become further and further from our reach. #kindness #walls #pandemic #crisis

Even worse, we may destroy others’ paradises because of our growing blindness to their needs and dreams. Or others may destroy ours.

What to do: Open Ourselves Up and Show Kindness

What could break such a vicious cycle of competition, hurt and loneliness? What could help us draw away from our walls and broaden our horizons?

Kindness.

Kindness is like a drop of water softening a hardened dried-out sponge.

Kindness is like a drop of oil that makes rusted hinges move smoothly again.

Kindness is like the candle that brings light and warmth to a dark, cold room.

Kindness is like a drop of water softening a hardened dried-out sponge.

In order, to show kindness to others, we will need to lower our walls. We do need to open up.

Kindness can only flow, when we give of ourselves. When we become vulnerable and take the risk that others can take advantage of us, then we can show kindness.

Kindness can only flow, when we give of ourselves. When we become vulnerable and take the risk that others can take advantage of us, then we can show kindness. #kindness #worldincrisis #encouragement #crisis #pandemic

Become aware of the people around you. Become aware of their hopes and their dreams. Become aware of their needs.

You don’t need to agree with them. You don’t have to be happy about the way they live their lives. You don’t have to approve of their actions or decisions.

Just notice the people around you. Your neighbors, your colleagues, your classmates, the person sitting next to you on the bus or train… Just notice the fellow human beings around you, your neighbor, and show kindness to them.

Once, a learned man asked a teacher the question: Who is my neighbor? Who is it that I should love and show kindness to, like I would myself?

The teacher replied with a now-famous story. A story of a man beaten an robbed, left for dead along the roadside. Two men, highly regarded in their day because of their social standing and their spiritual authority, left him lying there. They ignored him, because dealing with him may cost them their purity, their source of their authority and position.

Only a third person came by to help. He was both in cultural and ethnic disagreement and enmity with the wounded man. But he didn’t care about that.

All he cared about was the need for the wounded man to get better again.

You guessed it, it is the famous story of the Good Samaritan.

Only a third person came by to help. He was both in cultural and ethnic disagreement and enmity with the wounded man. But he didn’t care about that.

My encouragement for you, me and others around us today is simple: show the same kindness to others around you. Lower your walls, open up and simply be kind.

Kindness is like a drop of water softening a hardened dried-out sponge. #kindness #worldincrisis #encouragement #crisis #pandemic #relationships #inspiration

Kindness is like a drop of oil that makes rusted hinges move smoothly again. #kindness #worldincrisis #encouragement #crisis #pandemic #relationships #inspiration

Kindness is like the candle that brings light and warmth to a dark, cold room. #kindness #worldincrisis #encouragement #crisis #pandemic #relationships #inspiration


Read the other posts on how to deal with a crisis here.


Here’s what you can also do to improve your world: Become an encourager! Read all about it in my latest book:

Unexpected: Five Inspirational Short Stories of Encouragement

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Become an encourager.


See also

Mentors Wanted: How to Be a Great Mentor

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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