What if there are no “bad people”? What if there are only people who try to get their needs met, most of whom have no experience connecting with other people so that the other people’s needs are also met simultaneously?
What if everyone was raised by human parents and everyone internalized ways of seeing and understanding the world that have led them to behave as they do as adults? Wouldn’t that explain most people’s behavior to some extent? What if every offender/perpetrator is also a real person who experiences life’s pain and suffering, too?
What if people who hurt other people experience shame and delusion and confusion and fear?
What if there are no “good people”? What if there are only people who try to get their needs met, a tiny fraction of whom have experience connecting with other people so that the other people’s needs are also met simultaneously?
What if everyone was raised by human parents and everyone internalized ways of seeing and understanding the world that have led them to behave as they do as adults? Wouldn’t that explain most people’s behavior to some extent? What if every person who has survived Trauma and every person who attempts to spread love and peace is also a real person who experiences life’s pain and suffering, too?
What if people who help other people experience shame and delusion and confusion and fear?
When people, in an attempt to get their own needs met, hurt other people, what if we responded with understanding and compassion to both parties to the extent possible? What if we considered it our responsibility to nonviolently nurture every person because they are human beings? What if we could face our fears and our shame and still be compassionate to one another? What if we could view every person and experience as a teacher or tutor? What if we could view every person as a student?
What if punishment and coercion were not tools in our toolkit of parenting, of justice, of morality? What if judgment were set aside because it is a lens? What if we viewed every person and each person’s action as an expression of their needs? What if love were our lens?
Surely, we would get our asses kicked on occasion. And with a lens of love, we could still take actions that acknowledged the humanity of every human, that valued the human experience of every person, that recognized that every adult was a child, that every adult’s experience was formed most via nurture and to some extent by nature.
What if we put down bad and good? What if we put down wrong and right? What if we looked for the unmet needs in every expression of pain? What if we looked at how meeting each other’s needs in a safe and reasonable manner resulted in Blessed Love and Connection not because it is an obligation or a transaction but because loving kindness is the only intention that is bound to lead to joy and a life worth living?
What if we took the time to reflect on our core values and shaped them with nearly as much attention as we give to our spreadsheets and our shopping and our strategies to get what we think we want? What if our core values guided us like headlights on a road with hairpin turns and patches of dense fog? What if we did not wait until we faced the decline of our days and the waning of our vitality to give attention to the inner-life that screams and claws for us to give it attention?
If we give attention to the Life and Truth that are already inside us waiting to be liberated like a butterfly in a cocoon, how much more authentic could we be living our lives? How much more confidently might we wake up and taste the nourishing breath of life? How much contentment might we feel by giving and receiving Blessed Love as our primary objective?
What if, when we experience humanness by hurting others and being hurt by others, we started reading this all over again to remind ourselves that bad and good are ideas we made to avoid tending our butterfly? What if we allow ourselves to make mistakes and give the same permission to others? What if we use those experiences to deepen our connections through discussing openly and vulnerably that which was alive in us when we make took those actions? We teach and we learn and we love blessedly. Our butterflies thrive, and life becomes a butterfly garden bursting with loving kindness and sweetness, and every mistake allows the collective garden to sink even deeper roots and reach even taller into the never ending sky.