A Victim’s Logo

“Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger, for it is blame-thirsty. A pointed finger is a victim’s logo… No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not blame anything or anybody: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood, toilet training, etc… The moment that you blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything.” – Joseph Brodsky.

If ever anything pings me off consistently, I need to look at it another way. I am solely responsible for my life. Not my mum, dad, teacher, ex-partners, my experiences. If I give my energy and power to the things that live only in my past, where the heck am I living now? I’m living some sort of half-life, ignoring what is and looking only at what was.

Not to mention the fact that carrying around anger is absurd. It’s heavy and it’s draining and the person who you feel “deserves it” can’t feel a damn thing. Didn’t someone once say, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”? It’s often quoted to Buddha, but these days anything can get quoted to anyone.

One of the things that bothers me quite a bit is related to religion: people talking down to and forcing their beliefs onto others; or on the other hand, people arrogantly mocking other people’s beliefs. Those memes that go around on Facebook about the ridiculousness of Christianity are just awful. What they’re actually saying is, “I feel small, I need to show the world I am better than another group of people.” It’s just gross – a cheap and easy attack.

The same with people telling others they’ll burn in hell while promoting a loving God. Why not just lead by example? If your religion is so great, perhaps if you show kindness and happiness, other people will actually want to join you? Maybe not, but surely you’ve got a better shot.

I find it hard not to get angry on the topic whenever I see examples of this sort of thing from either spectrum – and that anger does me no favours. Thankfully, the world is a pretty cool place and whenever I set an intention to do something – such as figure out how to see a situation another way – an opportunity to do so appears in some form or another.

This time it came from a blog post by spiritual teacher Ram Dass. I don’t know much about the guy, but sometimes he says some interesting things. He spoke of the reason why people work really hard to force their religion or their staunch atheism down other people’s throats.

“The zeal is based on our lack of faith, because we’re not sure what we’re doing. So we figure if we convince everybody else….” Aha!

I have my own opinions when it comes to religion, but I’m not here to convince anyone. I hope I never belittle anyone. My behaviour is surely more important than my beliefs, anyway, which I can always work on.

Instead of getting angry and pointing fingers, I need to remind myself that we are all doing the best we can. On either side of the coin – religious or not – people who are working hard to convince others, are just trying themselves.

I don’t think I need to get so upset over that.

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