photo © 2010 Pascal | more info (via: Wylio)
Do you find yourself under unjust oppression of some kind? Maybe you are a woman who finds men have oppressed your kind for long. Maybe you are a religious minority thinking you have been oppressed by the majority. Maybe you are a sexual minority(gay, lesbian, bi sexual), maybe you belong to a low caste, maybe… There are so many such groups. A lot of people find themselves, or their kind, under some sort of oppression.
A lot of such people feel very passionately about it. They derive a sense of purpose in fighting against the injustice. They will get emotional and excited at the very mention of their issues. Some grow paranoid. They become defensive at the slightest hint of attack. Sometimes, even friendly mentions may look like an attack. They almost declare a war on ‘the other side’. They are quick to judge friends and enemies, to draw lines and to defend.
Hatred and ill will towards the other group follows often.
Think about it? Do you identify yourself as part of such a group?
The choice you have. When you find yourself under oppression, however strong it may be, you have a choice. The choice is that of the solution you choose. Either you can decide to exact justice, fight for your rights, or you can resolve to move towards the life you want, the life as you see it should be. The two may seem to be the same in a lot of situations but they are not so, most of the time.
Most of the times, the oppression is more in the head. How much injustice and oppression do you have to deal with in everyday life? The ‘fight against injustice’, many a times, is fueled more by a wish for revenge, mindless hatred, fear and anger. Our ego loves to find an adversary to fight against. It enjoys conflict.
Focus on finding a way out of the bad situation. Think what can you do to move towards the life you want to create. Taking this path may mean you will not be able to get total justice for all that happened to you, but it will definitely mean you have initiated a positive change towards your dream life, and you are in total charge of this change. You are not looking up to any one else to set things right for you or give you what you want.
What has gone is gone. If something is badly broken, it’s easier to build new than to fix it. If you spend time, energy and focus on trying to get back what is gone, you will be wasting a lot. Stop turning backward. Where ever you are at this point, start moving ahead, right away. Leave what is lost behind.
But at times, the oppression might be so much that you need to get rid of it to move ahead. When this is so, do the best you can to get rid of it. But don’t do this with anger or hatred, these emotions will slow your progress and cloud your mind. Do things with a calm mind. Think what is the easiest way to get rid of the force holding you down.
What about previous hurt, revenge? It is so easy to start seeking revenge for whatever bad that happened to you. A lot of movies are made on the idea of revenge and exacting justice. What does this surge of energy get you? Does it feel good right now, to feel all this hatred? Think of a time when you were totally at peace. Maybe a childhood memory with your mother or your family, maybe the memory of having achieved something that seemed impossible. Remember the feeling? How does the present feeling of hatred compare with that? What good will you do yourself and the world by exacting revenge? None. A lot would be wasted if you keep on this path.
It’s way better to try forgiveness. Forgiveness is not something reserved for the saints and it is not a selfless act. It is a very selfish act for your own peace of mind. Forgiving someone actually helps you more than the person forgiven. An immense burden is taken off your heart. There is a new found lightness to your being. You suddenly start feeling very positive and free! Suddenly there seems so many positive, exciting things to do and focus on.
Let go off the bad feelings, forgive the person for all his/her mistakes. Do it for yourself. When you will do this, you stop inviting more bad feelings and people in your life. You will discover more love and loving people around you.
When the others put down their arms. Are you waiting for the others to step down, to put down their arms, before you will put down yours? Stop giving away power like this. Be a leader, don’t let your decisions be determined by what other’s do. You are a lion and you don’t wait for anything and anyone to start doing what you want to do.
The effect on your life and your self. Have you noticed how this ill will and hatred affects you? Continuing long with negative feelings takes away focus from growth and progress. It adversely affects your mental health and well being. There is no complete peace of mind, there is no joy. Over time, these feelings may even manifest as physical ailments. Let these feelings go.
Asking for special treatment. I have seen a tendency, specially in the Indian populace, to ask for special treatment. When people think they have been oppressed, they ask for special treatment and favors. The idea of Reservation is a hot topic of debate here.
I won’t argue whether certain sections deserve it or not. But I will say this – I don’t think this can help anyone. When you start off with the idea that you are weak and need special treatment, you give power away. You told your sub conscious that you are weak. Repeated suggestions of this nature will strengthen this idea in your mind and it will take root. You will stop feeling strong and capable.
Such treatment may have some immediate, outward advantages, but you will be giving away your confidence, you will become weak and scared. Tell yourself that you are no worse than anyone, that you don’t need any sympathies to move ahead. Create your destiny with your own hands, don’t ask for it.
Our focus in life determines our direction. No matter what situation you are in, focus on the sort of life you want. There may be bad things happening around you on which you don’t seem to have any influence. Deny them your attention. Keep it on your dreams.
If someone is doing you harm, find the quickest way away from that person and then let it go. Don’t harbor bad feelings. These feelings keep you from moving ahead, they restrict your choices and your life, they halt your growth and expansion, and keep you from being genuinely happy.
No matter what the situation, no matter what the color of the world and people around you, keep your aim high and you will reach there,… slowly, and in time, you will.