Daraius’ Diary: “Even a Mean Jerk Would Rescue a Child”

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Daraius:  We’ve got a great team at Million Mile Secrets helping with posts.  But I miss writing as much as I did in the old days!  So here I am writing about stuff that I really care about.  And which isn’t all miles-and-points related.

Know that everyone has a sense of basic humanity – even the person acting like a complete jerk right now would probably rescue a child in danger. – Dr. Stosny

Daraius Diary Even A Mean Jerk Would Rescue A Child

I See Someone With Different Political Opinions as Just Someone With Different Political Opinions.

I’ve read Dr. Stosny’s books and attended his workshop on how to turn anger and resentment into compassion.  I’m always inspired by his message that valuing someone or something leads to much more  contentment than blaming or being angry about someone or something.

Disagreeing Respectfully Is Powerfully Peaceful

Link:  Basic Humanity and Well-Being

I was surprised and shocked to read that 59% of Americans and 72% of children report feeling anxious after the recent presedential election.

One of the most surprising things to me about the US, as an immigrant, is that folks get really, really upset about elections and politics.  I’ve lived & travelled in places where the most unpopular US politician would be a mere dilettante and folks would scarcely raise an eyebrow.

Dr. Stosny writes:

Anxious times seem to bring out the worst in people.  They make us intolerant of disagreement, divide us into factions, and, in the worst case, lead us to demonize those who seem different.  We can hardly speak without using negative labels.  In anxious times, we seek to devalue rather than understand.

Sure, folks in those countries complain vociferously about their politicians.  But those differences are put aside when folks connect with their family and friends.  Many of them seem to have an innate understanding that connection with people as humans is much more important than being “right” about the choice of politician.

Daraius Diary Even A Mean Jerk Would Rescue A Child

Dad and I Don’t Agree on Everything. But I Still Look Forward to Lots of Shared Meals With Him. 🙂

So I feel sad to see the current social environment in the US where folks openly feel disgusted, hostile, and very angry toward those who don’t hold similar opinions.  Even their neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family.

I understand that folks are scared and vulnerable, and that gives way as anger and disparagement.  But I feel scared because it isn’t very compassionate or efficient.

Dehumanizing Folks Who Feel Differently Hurts Me

Dr. Stosny suggests an experiment over the next 2 weeks or longer to develop a sense of well-being and peace.

 –  Be proactive rather than reactive.  Replace: “I’ll be respectful to you if you agree with me and validate my worldview,” with, “I’ll be respectful to you because it’s the right thing to do and will make it more likely that you’ll be respectful to someone else, who then may be respectful to yet another person.”

–  Know that everyone has a sense of basic humanity – even the person acting like a complete jerk right now would probably rescue a child in danger.

–  Realize that you raise self-value by valuing others and lower it by devaluing others.

–  Recognize that most people are more frail than cruel.

–  Do some small thing every day to make the world a better place – a small act of compassion or kindness.

I especially like the suggestion that being respectful of someone who does NOT agree with my own worldview isn’t a sign of weakness.  In fact, it is much more likely to ensure that more folks are respectful of others.

Bottom Line

Oftentimes I find it easy to blame someone and to get angry and to devalue others.  But as Dr. Stosny points out, even someone acting like a complete jerk (likely because he or she is unable to express or get to the emotions beneath the anger) would probably save a child in distress.

Ultimately, I get to choose what type of world I create.  And I’d rather create a world where I am compassionate towards folks (especially those who act in ways that I find distressing).

I know this is hard – especially when the person in front of me is taking a long time to order food when I’m starving. 🙂

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14 responses to “Daraius’ Diary: “Even a Mean Jerk Would Rescue a Child”

  1. Darius: I mostly agree and generally try to live my life by the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. But it is neither fair nor accurate to write: “Know that everyone has a sense of basic humanity – even the person acting like a complete jerk right now would probably rescue a child in danger.”

    Where is the “basic humanity” in doing exactly the opposite, like taking health care away from millions of children as well as adults? Where is the humanity in deporting children who were born and raised in the USA to non-citizen parents? I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Having pointed this out, I have friends and family members who I still love despite our differences.

  2. I certainly fall into this trap, but, I’m still having trouble coming to terms with folks who vote to take away my rights claiming some kind of religious beliefs.

  3. Cindy and Rick

    @Steve, what rights are being taking away from you? None. But religious freedom has been trampled over the last 15 years. Kids are being taught about Islam in schools for their own understanding, which does not belong in the classroom, but many school districts are intolerant of a kid bringing a Bible to school. I watch TBN and hear stories of kids being expelled or detained for having a Bible or other religious material. That is a right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and it’s been trampled on for years. Where is your outrage at those news stories?

    This is a good entry into your diary, Daraius. It’s true that people are divided, but we need to come together and realize that our country is special, and our Bill of Rights are unique to us. We have a Democratic Republic, and some people want to change the way we select the President. Each state is allowed to select its own President. That is how it is. The USA was founded by people who did not have the freedoms in their countries, which is why we have our Constitution.

    • Don’t bibles and Korans belong in churches? Doesn’t science belong in schools? Public schools should be used to educate, not indoctrinate.

      • @David – Simply put and well said.

        This posting may seem off topic, but consider what travel entails: exploring surroundings and encountering people, cultures, traditions, ideas, values, etc…

  4. Totally off topic…. I will be unsubscribing.

  5. When you give your country to a hate filled platform and when you elect a person who has no basic decency or respect for others (women, elderly, sick, immigrants, environment) you have started a fight between good and evil. Same here and any decent minded American citizen should be appalled by what is going on in this hate filled rhetoric that was instigated by this man. It is time for peaceful action and to take back our country which has been hijacked by hate and right wing vile rhetoric.

  6. @Cindy and Rick
    Thanks for providing me with the opportunity to educate you on the rights many of the members of the GOP would like to take away from me as well as rights which I would love to have:

    1) The right to not be fired as a result of sexual orientation (still on books in many states)
    2) The right to marry the one I love and have all those inherent rights opposite sex couples enjoy, which include healthcare benefits from companies that provide employees and their opposite sex spouse coverage, but not same sex coverage.
    3) Permission to frequent the restroom to which you identify – better yet, I don’t understand why all bathrooms aren’t unisex.
    4) Adoption rights for same sex couples are constantly under attack.
    5) The term marriage is under attack
    6) Religious Freedom act allows businesses to claim Religious Freedom which opens the door to discriminate.
    7) Sodomy is still on books in a few states even though Supreme Court ruled against it.

  7. I am serious about unsubscribing… where is the “unsubscribe” link ?

  8. Yea, I found the Unsubscribe link….

  9. Agreed, please keep politics OUT OF THIS SITE. There are many other places to go for that stuff.