Do I live by CONTRIBUTING to the most important thing in everyone’s lives?

Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.

Sometimes we surprise ourselves by making comments that are quite hurtful, sarcastic or ironic about other people.  At other times I criticise their tastes, inclinations or interests.  At times I believe that someone should do more or better to achieve this or that which I consider to be important in their lives.   Often we feel a certain amount of anger, because our comments are not endorsed by others and the emotion leaves us offended or irritated. 

None of the above sounds at all affectionate or respectful.   On the contrary it appears that often, without being aware of it, we demand that others conform to what we believe is right, since we are convinced that our views reflect the truth of every situation.  With this behaviour wejust create conflicts between people and, also, violent responses of varying magnitude.  Perhaps you would not consider that some of my behaviour was violent, like not asking a colleague who I do not get on well with, if they would like me to get them a cup of coffee.  Or when I criticise the way my boss speaks or dresses.  Or when I know that I could help but I decide not to out of revenge because a girl gave me an answer that I did not like.

In each of these “innocent” and invisible acts is the sign of an inner violence that is the result of my contradictions.

Many will say: they deserve it, there are lots of idiots in the world!  That may well be, and you or I may be one of them.  Do you deny it?  Do not be so quick to speak but observe your reactions and what is really behind them.   Observe if there is violence in them and how this is affecting the kind of relationships that you establish with others.

Someone once said: “You will be happy when you stop expressing an opinion.”  In other words, when I cease to apply my own criteria to everyone.  When I cease to believe that an opinion is a universal truth.  When I ask instead of judging.  Do you realise that we tend to pontificate instead of making a judgement founded on solid proof and meaningful questions?

I am sure that when we give ourselves a chance to listen without pontificating, without anticipating responses, without expectations about what should come of the conversation, then we are contributing to the most important thing in all of our lives.

I assume that you know what I am referring to.  Look at your own experiences, without thinking, expressing an opinion or judging.