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There is a pervasive thought pattern in our world that is all about deciding who is right and who is wrong, who are the winners and who are the losers. (And don’t we love to gather the evidence?) Judgment is a very effective weapon—or so I used to think.
We raise our children in this culture of judgment. We teach it to them when they’re little bitty babies: Throwing the food on the floor is WRONG. They hear us talk to the dog: “BAD doggie, BAD.” We show them how to make the right decisions, to look at the other people who are doing it wrong and say, “Bad people, BAD!” We do this so they won’t get hurt by taking up with the bad people. Right?
It used to be when I argued with someone I approached it like a battle. I used every verbal weapon I had to make them wrong. I needed to be right! Being right made me a better person. (All the winners agreed on that.) Every day I needed proof that I was a better person. It was exhausting.
When I decided to follow Gandhi and King I put down my weapons of judgment. I’ve come to a place where I can have a disagreement with someone and I can watch carefully any desire I have to be right. Instead of following that desire I can agree to disagree. In fact, I don’t even have to get angry! This has been a huge relief. It may not make me a better person, but it feels better because I don’t have battles any more. Putting down my weapons has made every day victory day. Who won? Everyone.
Today I focus on how I use words and moods as weapons and I voluntarily disarm myself. I want to live in a world without battles and so I cultivate a live without weapons. My daily personal practice of nonviolence moves my life and the whole world in a direction of peace.
Tomorrow! Check out my Stop Playing Small Retreat in North Carolina – starts tomorrow!
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