Guest blogger Lorie Sheffer: Think

Buddha statue covered in snow
Photo: courtesy of Lorie Sheffer


The challenge isn’t having the backs of those with whom we agree. The real challenge is stepping back and trying to apply our kindness, forgiveness and non-judging feelings to those we do NOT care for, or those with whom we disagree. When we feel angry or frustrated or upset, that is when the real test of our values begins.

I like to sit back and observe. It’s amazing, the things we can learn if we just watch and listen. I have noticed a strange phenomenon; there seems to be more than a few people who actively promote things like kindness and love and not being judgmental, but then in the next breath they will lash out at those who they don’t like. They don’t necessarily do this to people they actually know, but rather to celebrities, lawyers and doctors, ‘those people’ or especially politicians from the party they revile. The non-human segment of society, I suppose. While it could be a passive aggressive way of dealing with their friends with whom they disagree, I see it more as a lack of self-awareness; of a disconnect between what they are saying and who is listening to their words. Social media has really shown an incredibly bright light on this, for me anyway. “Share” posts promoting love and kindness and prayer for goodness, followed by attacks and accusations and name-calling, especially fascinate me. Recently, my jaw dropped to the floor when someone spoke about how they are “old school respectful” and then the very next day they went on an incredibly vile tirade, complete with false accusations and childish name-calling. This wasn’t an example of respectful disagreement; this was an example of rudeness to the extreme, complete with Hitler mustache. WWJD? Probably not that, I’m guessing.

I feel we can always learn from what initially upsets us, but to do so we must not take things personally. We must detach and observe and think. Most of all, we need to make sure we see our own behavior with the same clarity with which we are able to see others.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.