Inflicting damage

 

Let’s picture a situation where an individual (let’s call him John) is the owner of a shop. John has two employees, whom we shall name Jane and Bill. John has a good relationship with Jane and Bill, and business is good.

However, during a weak period in economy, John’s shop starts to see a decline in clientele, and his sales drop. However, his costs remain high, as he is reluctant to let any of his employees go. Unfortunately, at some point, the situation becomes so critical that he faces a couple of options: to close his shop, which would compromise his own livelihood and that of his employees, or to downsize and let one of his employees go, which would compromise the affected party’s livelihood.

John makes a tough decision, and with the hope of giving his business some time to recover and turn around, he decides to let Bill go. John is fully aware that this decision will have an undesirable impact in Bill’s life. In the meantime, he reassures Jane that she’s keeping her job, which guarantees her immediate livelihood.

chess-603624_1280In the above example, John was facing a tough situation where, regardless of his ultimate decision, some collateral damages would have been inflicted, whether upon himself or upon other people. In his case, his decision ended up hurting Bill, although he did somehow manage to salvage a relatively positive outcome for Jane and himself. Nevertheless, John cannot help but feel guilt for his action, despite this being mostly caused by situations beyond his control (i.e. adverse business conditions).

In our case above, does John’s decision make him a bad individual?

Unfortunately, just like in John’s case, there are situations in life where people with good intentions end up inflicting damage upon other individuals. People make difficult decisions where, despite of being fully aware of the consequences, they act to avoid a more dangerous situation, or to keep the danger away from themselves or others.

When we inflict damage upon others, does that makes us bad people?

What if the damage caused is not intentional?

What if, against our will and our best intentions, our interactions with people result in unwanted consequences that affect other people?

Are we to blame ourselves for damage inflicted upon others, even when we tried our best to avoid it?

There is no easy answer to any of the above questions. In fact, there are no right or wrong answers: When we act fully aware of the consequences of our acts, we are accountable for the results of our actions. Even when we might not be fully aware of the consequences that our decisions would have, we still hold some responsibility on their consequences.

On the other hand, however, we can argue that when we face these dilemmas where we know undesirable consequences will arise, we can count ourselves as victims of the dilemma itself. Essentially, when damage is inflicted as a result of a difficult decision where we cannot avoid the collateral effects, we are making those decisions based on particular circumstances. We are not to blame about causing one damaging effect, which we chose over another outcome which would have been in itself another damaging effect.

It is unfortunate and sad that sometimes life gives us these  challenges, where the outcomes of our moves will have a negative effect elsewhere. However, it is up to us to make the best out of those outcomes: When these situations arise, and we make difficult decisions, nothing prevents us from being human and approaching the people who have been affected by our actions or decisions. It is at the point, more than ever before, our responsibility to support them and make sure that the damage inflicted is reduced to the least possible, and offer any kind of assistance to them.

As humans, we must care for one another. Even when we have inflicted pain or damage unto others, albeit unwillingly, it is our responsibility to care for them and to be as human as possible during their difficult times. Let’s not forget that our own path through life does contain some rough patches as well, and we never know when will we be the ones impacted by the collateral damage of other people’s decisions. The more humane we are with people in need of our support, the better support we will likely receive if we hit a rough patch.

Miracles

When we think of miracles, most of us would normally think of supernatural phenomena that affect positively our lives – or that of others. We may even think of the forces of the Universe acting together in the benefit of a certain individual, or a group of people – in ways that are beyond the human power.

In that regard, for example, we could think that if a person gets unexpectedly cured from a specific rare ailment – that constitutes a miracle. If an individual drives their car recklessly on the highway, crashes but escapes the incident unharmed – that is a miracle. If an athlete gets badly injured, but then they participate in a competition where their performance is better than what was expected of them and come out as a winner – that, also, is a miracle.

Are the situations in the examples miracles? Indeed they are. The individuals in the situations explained obtained unexpected good outcomes of their own particular circumstances, against all odds. With the help of nature, and under poorly understood (rather unknown) conditions, their seemingly bleak situation worked out in their favour.

miracle

Now, if we think of our day to day lives, and the circumstances that we face on our everyday – from the moment that we wake up, experience the world outside our house, do our daily activities, interact with people, come back home to share time with those we love most, until the moment we tuck ourselves in bed and sleep -, do we get to realize the circumstances that allow us to make it through our routines? Do we appreciate the marvels of the world that surround us?

When we realize that every day we wake up to another day where forces beyond our human power interact in our benefit, our perception of what miracles are changes. If we consider that every day we wake up to another day enlightened and warmed up by the Sun, that we get to breath fresh air cleaned by photosynthesis performed by plants, that we get to eat fresh and nutritious food grown from rich grounds of the Earth, that we are able to utilize resources provided by nature in order to accomplish our goals… do we realize that all of those are here not because our human will made them happen, but because the Universe has made the circumstances turn in our favour?

If we consider that the very fact that we were born to experience the Universe, do we get to realize that our birth is a fortunate situation that worked in our favour? When we get to experience feelings like love, happiness, pleasure, even sadness… do we realize that experiencing such emotions, at the very root, is a process that we did not plan, but which the Universe has made possible for our full experiencing of life? Indeed, we experience miracles all the time. We, ourselves, as well as all the creatures of the world, are also miracles.

Whether we are aware of it every moment or not, we are continuously experiencing miracles. Every day and every night, every hour and every minute, there are phenomena happening within us and around us, over which we don’t have any control but they still yield positive outcomes for us. Our very existence in this life itself is a big miracle that we should have present day by day, and admire as we would do when witnessing any other miracle.

Success beyond mere financial wealth

In today’s competitive society, it is easy to find ourselves in situations where we act according to what others expect from us. It’s not uncommon to engage in situations that are unpleasant (unfulfilling jobs, materialistic mindsets, etc), but which nevertheless we pursue for the sake of “success”. Unfortunately, in these modern times, success is equated to financial wealth and professional success escalating corporate ladders.

With that false idea of success in mind, millions of people live their lives focused exclusively in the task of making money to achieve financial power and success. Don’t take me wrong, there is nothing bad with living those values, except that at the end of the day… how many people throughout history are remembered for the amount of money they had in the bank? How many people are valued by society for an average track record as a corporate employee? How many people have left a lasting impression in this world for having achieved financial “success”?

painter

On the other hand, we remember plenty of people who throughout their life made significant contributions to the arts, to philosophy, to astronomy, or to science – just to mention a few. They left a great legacy to their communities and even to mankind as a whole, and they are remembered throughout the generations. The secret? Throughout their life, they did not only focus on their day jobs as merchants, mailmen or teachers with the sole intention of accumulating wealth. They did work jobs in order to make a living, but they also utilized their unique abilities to leave a lasting legacy behind them

In today’s world, there are still people out there who contribute significantly to the heritage and well being of their community. How do they do that? By remaining true to their nature: Yes, like the rest of us, they are people who work jobs, have bank accounts, and purchase goods for their use. Nevertheless, they are people who do not pursue financial wealth as an indicator of success and well being, but they also do what they like and what they enjoy in life and share it with others.

Whereas it is important to become a productive member of this society by working and serving the community, it is crucial for a person to remain true to their nature in the process. As we know, every person has unique talents, abilities and passions – which together forge the uniqueness of every human being. Do not be afraid to pursue your real passions in life – it is our duty to make use of those passions and talents in order to fulfil our role in this lifetime to leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

New year on Sight!: Self-Reflection as a tool come up with better new year resolutions

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration with you favourite people. Friends and families gather to remember with a bit of nostalgia the memorable events that shaped our lives during the year that is just leaving – and to welcome a new year that brings an unknown mixture of adventures to each and every one of us.

Aside from an opportunity to celebrate with our loved ones, New Year’s Eve can also be taken advantage of for other self-developing purposes. Being a time of reflection, it is also a great occasion to reflect about the year that just passed. Great questions to reflect upon could be some of the following:

  • What achievements during the last year make most proud?
  • What adventures or activities did I enjoy most doing?
  • What new skills did I learn during the last year?
  • What would I like to change or improve in myself?
  • How will I achieve such improvements?

These questions, along with other similar ones that you may consider relevant for an accurate self-assessment, should provide a helpful framework of thought to guide your self reflection about how to create a more powerful you. These reflections will also help create exciting New Year’s Resolutions that will not only bring forward the best out of you – but will also awaken your Inner Power.

My very best wishes for the new year to you and all the loved ones who surround you. May this be a year full of inner power and amazing blessings for everybody!