The Middle Path

The ideal mind is open, accepting, and nonjudgmental.

If only that was our default!

Let’s be real – usually the mind is conditioned, calculating, and easily triggered.

One of the juiciest baited hooks that I chomp down on time and again is political propaganda – signs and stickers that to me represent ignorance and hate. When I see them, I instantly leap to criticism and condemnation.

Sometimes I’m able to catch myself in mid-judgment and tell myself that I don’t know anything about the people displaying the name and slogan that are so triggering to me. Maybe these people are really kind, maybe they’re going through illness or other hardships, maybe they’re afraid.

It doesn’t mean that I condone hateful words or actions, but I gain nothing by harshly judging complete strangers. Said another way: I do not condone prejudice, discrimination, or abuse of power and I believe that getting stressed with vile thoughts about “the enemy” doesn’t help anything.

If I think it’s wrong that people dehumanize others, then I shouldn’t do the same to the dehumanizers. I don’t want to contribute to the problem… so I’m trying to stay on the middle path.

I can support the causes and values that I feel are righteous without losing my integrity and peace of mind. This is the work (and it never ends): disrupting reactions and thought patterns that are unkind and unhealthy, while giving myself the space and support to slip up, try again, learn, and grow.

One thought on “The Middle Path

  1. I think that we desperately need to integrate this way of being into our lives for the sake of ourselves and our communities, some of which are so fractured and in need of healing…

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