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Armijo: Stop wasting your precious energy

Everyday I see and hear people wasting their energy trying to fix the world by explaining things to others with the intention of converting them to their viewpoint. People try to explain why certain political movements are taking place or why one political party is better than the other. They try and explain why people should eat a certain diet or follow a certain religion.

However, they usually only receive a blank look in the other party’s eyes that shows the message was clearly lost on them. This is something that most of us witness on a daily basis — especially in our current political climate. The problem is we do not have the ability to change another person’s mind, yet many fruitlessly try all of the time.

We must understand that we can achieve better results for addressing social injustices if we do not attempt to change each other’s minds. There are some people who were born into families with tainted ideas and therefore have been conditioned to have the same type of thinking, but to them they do not see their ideas as tainted because that is the way it has always been. There are those who subscribe to certain news networks and have begun to shape their values around the messages they receive. Therefore their political views may lean closer to one side or the other. We have all been programmed in some fashion and it lies in us and us alone to change our programming.

When we attempt to change a person’s mindset, we are just wasting our precious energy. A person, no matter who it is, must make the conscious effort to change and have the desire to do so. We can scream our well-thought-out and well-intentioned beliefs until we are blue in the face, but we will rarely change anyone’s mind.

We have all been conditioned to believe certain things, to act a certain way, and to see the world in a particular light. When we can recognize that each of us has arrived at where we are today by living out our own unique stories, then we will see change. When we try and persuade others to align with our beliefs or to change their stance on a particular subject we will receive resistance. It is akin to someone pushing their religious beliefs on to another — it just doesn’t work and people do not like it.

So what is the best way to help in times of division? It is to talk with the other side. Talk without an agenda. Speak with an open mind and most importantly be an excellent listener. Everyone is conditioned in some way or another. When we can learn more about each other and their background, we can find common ground. However, be aware that not everyone is inclined to talk and not everyone will be a good candidate for a beneficial discussion. Many people have forgotten the art of conversation.

Conversation by definition is “​a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.”

Today, many people seem unwilling to exchange their ideas and instead default to an emotional response if there is something they do not agree with. This will undoubtedly cause the other person in the conversation to become defensive and all hope for civil discussion is lost. We must be willing to keep our emotions out of a discussion if we are looking to achieve any sort of positive results.

Stop trying to change the world around you. It is just a waste of energy. Begin to change the world within you and then you will see some incredible results. Even though it may not seem like it, everything around us is first created in our mind. If you are seeing the current state of the world as hopeless, desperate, and scary it is because that is the world you have created in your mind. This creation in your mind may not be intentional but a result of the programming you may be receiving from outside sources like the mainstream media, friends, family, or whatever information you are consuming on a regular basis.

Change in this world happens by focusing our energy on things that will create the change we wish to see. Unfortunately, protests usually give energy to that very thing the protesters seek to change. In politics, the outcome of the election is usually in favor of the politician who receives the most energy (positive or negative energy). Energy just is and does not decipher if something is negative or positive.

Therefore it is important to find the opposite of what you are looking to change and give it focus. If you want to create a world of inclusion, do not protest against the perpetrators, instead send them feelings of love and inclusion. I am not saying to ignore injustices but they need to be approached from a different perspective. We cannot fight fire with fire we must use a counteragent like water. This is a world of duality. There is darkness and light. There is up and down. There is love and hate but one cannot be used against itself if we want to see that thing changed.


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