It’s that time of year again. Back to the classroom for the younger set.
Everyone has a bias towards others people. It’s human nature and how the human mind works. Until we are willing look deep within ourselves and acknowledge this bias, we can never heal as an individual and as a society. Healing occurs when we do some deep truth-telling.
Prejudice, bigotry and bias toward other people have been the albatross around American society since its inception. It’s the one virus that keeps reoccurring generation after generation. It is the one aspect of our democracy that is anything but democratic. It is a symbol of oppression that we have placed upon others and also ourselves.
As long as humans have possessed fearful thoughts, beliefs and emotions, there has been prejudice and bigotry.
As long as fear exists and it controls the human mind, we will remain stuck in a mindset rooted in ignorance, which is the basis for prejudice and bigotry.
In the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” the ghost of Jacob Marley warned Scrooge about “ignorance and want” being the causes of the woes of the world. He shared with Scrooge that ignorance itself is the most destructive force in any society and will ultimately lead to its’ downfall and demise. Therefore, we each must educate ourselves and others. We do this by changing our minds about how we see the world and ourselves. Instead of being biased and having pre-conceived notions we become truth-seekers.
Being open to admitting that we each have negative biases is the only way we can begin dissolving the prejudices and bigoted belief systems we hold on to. For example: have you ever disliked people who dislike others? Or, do you hate the haters? If you do, aren’t you also being hateful? Contemplating our personal biases allows all of us to uncover some of our deeply hidden prejudices. Don’t say, “I don’t have a prejudice bone in my body!” If you do then you are not being honest with yourself and others.
To heal ourselves of our prejudices and biases we want to understand that we are all conditioned at a very young age to adopt certain belief systems.
Until we question our own individual belief systems, we cannot move ourselves out of prejudice and bias.
Our greatest contribution to the world is for each of us to look in the mirror and get brutally honest with ourselves. Are we perpetuating the problems that arise from prejudice and bigotry by being harsh on ourselves? To create positive change in the world, we must first focus on creating positive change within ourselves. Are we willing to do that?
When we deny any truth about ourselves: be it our “dark side” (our prejudices, biases, dislikes and judgments) or our “light side” (our goodness, kindness, compassion and love for ourselves and others), we disempower ourselves and weaken our overall well-being.
To diminish our own self-worth is no different than diminishing the self-worth of another person. When we don’t feel good about ourselves we are essentially being prejudicial and bigoted toward ourselves. On the flip-side: when we see ourselves from a more positive, uplifting and esteemed perspective, we begin to see others in the same light.
If you are willing to take the initiative to being open and honest with yourself, you will become aware that you, too, possess thoughts and beliefs that are prejudicial and bigoted in nature about both you and the world-at-large.
This truth does not make you or anyone else a bad person. It just means you are human. Being human also means you have the ability to change yourself and the world around you.
Prejudice and bigotry are by themselves constructs of the mind. We all can “change our mind” if we decide to do so.
Here are some ways we believe each of us can begin to dissolve our prejudices and biases that are rooted in fear-based thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that can potentially exhibit and inflict pain and suffering upon ourselves and others:
#1. What beliefs do you have about other people who may appear or act different or perhaps see the world from a different perspective? Write these beliefs down. Be honest! Where did these beliefs come from? Are they absolutely true for every person or group you may feel antagonistic toward and perceive in a negative way? Ask yourself: “Am I willing to open myself up to seeing this person/group differently by understanding that they, too, like me, have a set of beliefs they have adopted. And, they also insist that these beliefs are true for them?”
#2. What beliefs do you have about yourself that may be prejudicial or negatively-biased? Some possible examples might be: I’m too short, fat, ugly, tall, dumb, and not good enough. Again, write these beliefs down and be honest! Where did these beliefs come from? Are they absolutely true? Ask yourself: “Am I willing to open myself up to seeing myself differently and realize that I, too, have adopted a set of beliefs that I insist are the truth?”
#3. Pick a person, a group of people, or even yourself as a “test-subject.” See if you have the capacity to send kindness, compassion and good-will to that person or group. How do you feel when you do this?
#4. Be willing to expand your horizons. Make an effort to learn about other people, their cultures and lifestyles. Then attempt to embrace the differences you may have. See the differences not as a problem but as a celebration of life! Remember, we are all human and are all part of the human family!
Now is the time for each of us to contribute to the emergence of a massive, positive transformation within ourselves and in our society. To do so requires each of us to see and acknowledge that underneath all the so-called “differences” we are really all the same.
When we open ourselves up to considering the possibility of letting go of anything that does not serve us or humanity in a positive way, then the process of positive change begins.
At the end of the day it may be worthwhile to remind yourself that we all have prejudicial thoughts and beliefs and have all exhibited behaviors that confirm this as so. Remind yourself from this point forward that all thoughts, beliefs and behavior that hurt others and you, are all rooted in fear. Remember this: “Hurt people hurt other people.”
Also understand that hurtful thoughts, beliefs and behaviors are different than having personal preferences. A healthy personal preference is not rooted in fear. For example, a healthy personal preference might be: I love Italian food but don’t like Greek food. Whereas, a hurtful thought and belief might be: I like Italians but hate all Greeks. The key is not to use your personal preference as a crusade by attempting to inflict it upon others and condemning them if they choose not to agree or comply with you.
In closing, let us share with you a philosophy that we adopted a long time ago in regards to prejudice and bias. It may assist you on your way to releasing any personal prejudices you may have:
“Just because you love chocolate doesn’t mean you have to hate vanilla!”
Remember, we all want the same thing: to be loved, accepted and appreciated for whom we are!
We are here to assist and guide you to find peace and balance. We can also assist you to dismantle the fears that may be controlling your life. Contact us for a complementary initial discussion.
Jon Satin and Chris Pattay – The Possibility Coaches™
©2020 Possibility Coaches, LLC
“Your Power is in Your Peace!” These are the words I heard my success coach speak 15 years ago at a seminar he hosted in New York City. “Your power is in your peace.” I had never heard such words ever spoken until that time. Yet, it is those very words that have transformed my life, Chris’ life and the lives of many others who we have guided over the years to live life authentically and on their own terms.
The late Dr. Wayne Dyer (one of my personal heroes on this journey called “the human experience”) wrote a book called “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem” (and I highly recommend it!). The title of this book is not just an opinion presented by the author; it is a statement of absolute truth. Your mind may attempt to refute it and even deny it. The truth is however, whatever the challenge: be it physical, emotional, financial or relational, the solution is always spiritual.
A spiritual solution is different than a religious solution. Religious solutions are predicated on dogma, laws, and long-standing rites and traditions. They may or may not serve a purpose in your life. Regardless, they are decidedly different than spiritual solutions.
“Spiritual solutions come from within. No one is excluded from accessing them. They are all of ours for the asking. All we need to do is ask.”
So, where does your peace fit in to all of this? The answer, from my own personal experiences, is that peace plays the primary role in our quest for receiving solutions to all of our worldly “problems.”
As a spiritual solution, being at peace simply means we live in the present moment. We are unfettered by the mind chatter: the onslaught of thoughts presented to us by the voices in the head.
When we are present, we live in the now. We become open vessels to receive inner wisdom: a spiritual solution that provides each of us with a plan of action that can remedy any challenge we may face.
If you find yourself challenged with understanding the concept of the present moment or experiencing its’ enormous power, have faith that you can understand and experience it. If you cannot do so now it only means that you, like most people, are at the mercy of your thinking mind.
To spiritually reclaim yourself, to be truly who you are, requires a commitment to experiencing inner peace. Without this commitment, you will continue to be at the mercy of what happens all around you as a victim of circumstance for the rest of your life.
Most of us, over a lifetime of hurts and disappointments, have developed a “hard shell:” an unseen protective coating that we each build around us to stave off physical, mental and emotional pain. This “shell,” in reality, actually prevents us from genuinely experiencing life passionately. It also prevents us from experiencing our true nature which is essentially composed of peace, love, compassion, kindness and good-will.
To experience the power of peace therefore requires us to realize that “what happens” to us has nothing to do with “who we truly are.” This realization is spiritual in nature. It is also a process that requires perseverance, patience, courage and faith.
Your power is in your peace. Peace is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to the world. You see, when you are at peace, your presence becomes infectious in a really healthy way. People love being in your company. They feel your higher energy. They want what you have and the truth is you can share your peace with them by being present for them when they, too, are faced with the challenges and rigor of every day human existence.
Ask for and receive the Gift of Peace. Remember, it is a power that lives within you. It is always accessible to you. All you have to do is ask and be open to receiving it. Commit to making inner peace a priority today.
Jon Satin and Chris Pattay – The Possibility Coaches™
©2016 Possibility Coaches, LLC
The stirring and unrest of mankind continues. It will do so until more of us begin to realize that violence and unrest is the result of the violent thoughts and unrest that exists within the minds of men. It exist within each of us.
Terrorism may be a recent term to describe the current rash of unspeakable, heinous acts, but it is as old as the history of mankind. Churchill called history, “one damn thing after another.”
Acts of violence begin like any other physical experience: they come from a thought, an idea in the minds of men. These thoughts, which are seeds that germinate in the human mind, have been passed on from the beginning of history, from generation to generation. It is like a chain, one link connecting to another link through the ages. Now more than ever, it is time to break this chain of violence and pain.
The solution to ending this on-going planetary turmoil lives within each of us. You and I both have the power to break this chain of violence and pain. We can do so by ‘changing our minds about our minds’ and the relationship we have with them.
On my own personal journey and the journey of countless others, I have come to learn that who I am, let’s call it my essential nature, and my mind, are not one in the same.
How do I know this? I know this because in my life I have had thoughts of committing acts of violence. In fact, during my childhood, I did experience and participate in fights as a way of protecting myself and surviving.
That may have been in a school yard, yet the root of that conflict comes from the same mind that commits terrorist acts of violence.
Through personal transformation and awakening, I began to recognize a power within me that knows the ills and inappropriateness of violent acts.
We all possess this essential nature that knows morality. There is no exception to the rule. Within every sinner resides a saint. Even terrorists, who we may deem pitiful excuses for men, possess it, too. The greatest challenge we face, is the brainwashing of great populations of individuals who believe that violence is the key to their survival. Too many on our planet have been convinced that the credo to live by is “kill or be killed.”
It is this core belief, rooted in thoughts of survival of the fittest, that has poisoned the mind of mankind. It is a belief that those who possess the most weapons of destruction are the ones who will survive.
Thankfully, there is an antidote to this poison which permeates the mind of mankind. The antidote to violence is of course, peace. Peace in our world can only occur when we literally lay down our arms.
We can, I believe, only lay down our arms when we lay down our arms in our conscious minds. When you and I and everyone else on this planet makes peace with himself or herself, peace will then come to our world.
I know this is a tall order. It is asking for the stars when we have the moon. It is asking for the mother of all miracles. Yet, I believe it can happen. Do you?
The only way it will not happen is if you and I wait for the other guy to change so we can be at peace. Do not wait for the other guy! The human race has been waiting for the other guy to change for nearly 10,000 years.
As Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see.”
Do you want peace? Then, be it. This is your only true power. Defending ourselves through acts of violence only destroys what we seek to create.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to create?”. Examine your thoughts and your overall mindset. Is it positive, uplifting and loving? Or is it negative, fear-based, angry and resentful?
Do the words of Gandhi, Dr. King or Jesus reside in your thoughts? Thoughts of love, peace, compassion, hope and integrity? Or do you feel like you have to fight for what you want because if you don’t get ‘it’ someone else will?
Be brutally honest with yourself! This is the only way we can change how we see ourselves and our world. And it is the only way we can effectively turn the tide toward peace and move away from violence.
“There is no way to peace because peace is the only way.” Global peace is the only way. Global peace begins with inner peace.
The current state of affairs of our world is simply an out-picturing of the state of our collective mind.
I cannot change your mind and convince you to take the high road of peace, love and compassion. Nor can you convince me of it either.
The only chance for global peace begins with the commitment to inner peace. The good news is, it doesn’t require the entire world population to achieve a state of inner peace.
By possessing the power and miracle of inner peace, we positively transform the lives of those we come in to physical contact with.
The number of people you and I can positively affect cannot be accurately calculated. We cannot begin to even imagine how many lives were changed over the centuries by Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed.
Their essential nature resides in you and me. Seek that essence within you. Know that it is there. With patience, commitment and a willingness, you will find it. And when you find it, the world will be a better place!
Do you want to learn how to create inner peace in YOUR life! Contact The Possibility Coaches for a complementary introductory coaching session.
Written by Jon Satin co-founder of The Possibility Coaches™
©2015 Possibility Coaches, LLC