We all want to see a more just world. And our natural reaction when we either see or experience injustice is to get angry.
Anger can be a useful emotion IF it causes us to stop tolerating the intolerable.
But that all depends on what you and I do with our anger. It doesn’t matter if the injustice manifests on a personal, family, or societal level …
We have a choice. We can:
- Lash out in an inchoate and even destructive rage. We’ve all done it to one degree or another at one time or another.
- Respond in a thoughtful, peaceful, prayerful, yet still vigorous, way that seeks and demands genuine answers.
Gandhi and MLK Jr. had it right.
Trying to force change on the unrepentant, whose hearts are not open to change, simply doesn’t work.
And maybe more importantly, it ensnares us in a prison of endlessly pushing against … and that’s no way to live … or achieve what we want.
Love is the key.
What the nonviolent approach to achieving change both seeks and requires … is a change of heart.
No amount of force can accomplish that. In fact, just the opposite.
But what’s also required is courage and commitment to the cause over time. Spasms of righteous indignation don’t help much if the actual goal is a better outcome … a better, more just world.
And frankly, those two character traits are a little harder to manifest for most of us.
It’s easy to get angry. It’s easy to decry the brokenness of the world. But what does that change?
I found this quote from L.R. Knost to be heartening during these troubled times:
“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go, love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in the darkness for the light that is you.”
If each of us takes one step at a time … one conversation at a time … one prayer at a time … one courageous stand at a time … to intentionally move towards where we want the world to be, the most important part of the world WILL have changed. And it’s the only part you really can change … the mind and heart inside of you.