How do you feel about the unrest?
Are people evil? Are they good?
What To Do With Unrest
Carl Jung, psychoanalyst extraordinaire said, “Indeed, it is becoming ever more obvious that it is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.
After Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst in the 20th century, we collectively vowed to rebuild and move upward.
We are tough. Earthquakes, floods, or cancer don’t easily break our spirit.
But deliberate human wickedness can break a seemingly untouchable spirit. Man’s inhumanity to man makes life unbearable.
I’ve heard it said that few people are all bad, Charles Manson or Hitler. Oh yes, some are all good, Fred Rogers.
But most of us are in between or gray, a mixture of good and evil.
We have an extraordinary ability to do good, help our fellow man, and behave with the highest nobility.
On the other hand, we are also capable of tremendous evil.
As Cain compared himself to his honorable brother Able, he was seized to the core by thoughts of inadequacy, resentment, jealousy, and bitterness.
Even though Able was everything Cain wished to be, he commits the utmost terrible crime to spite himself, to spread misery, wreak havoc and appease his anger.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s observations led him to believe, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
So what’s the answer? What To Do With Unrest? What are we to do with such a reality?
On June 5, 1966, at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King advised those seeking progressive change, “Take your burden, take your grief and look at it, don’t run from it… Look at it hard enough and say, ‘How can I transform this liability into an asset?”
Use the difficulty, the problems of life to learn, elevate, and develop yourself.
Shoulder the burden. Voluntarily accept the responsibility to transform yourself and begin to improve further and transform humanity.
- Rebuild what has deteriorated and repair what is broken.
- Mend relationships.
- Take the heroic path.
Keep in mind
- Fighting only energizes the other side
- Resistance adds suffering
- Problems call forth our courage
Pause and engage the pre-frontal cortex. The personal characteristics needed to make progressive change are not emotional. They involve your executive functions that include planning, focus, composure, discipline, and persisting through adversity.
This would be enough to give your life purpose and meaning with a capital P&M!