Mr. Rogers, or, How To Respond In Today's World


There are so many things happening now in our world.

So many people coming at other people, so many others fighting others for a stance both feel are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

My therapist and I were talking how today we’re a society where we like to ‘rip the bandage off’ and I confess I’m one of those doing that very thing. I’m very much of the world like all of us. I see the discord, I see the confusion and mixed feelings and I’m gonna let rip what I think.

Which is good, of course. The truth is being spoken, but the truth is not the goal of any discourse. The goal is to find common ground and solutions and that’s only achieved by connecting from a constructive emotional place which is exactly what ‘ripping the bandage off’ thinking doesn’t give a fuck about.

When we feel we need to prove someone wrong, we’re riding the wave of an emotion which is what we call ‘energy’ and that push, that declaration and that refusal of openness is what causes the problem to be perpetuated.

I write this knowing this is a process most of us are not interested in engaging in, but if we did, engaged in a constructive dialogue that accepts, but doesn’t act on the ego’s demands, we’d see such such swift and beneficial change it would be mind-blowing.

I always felt I was a victim to my emotions, until I saw that witnessing the emotions and knowing they are not me, but something happening I can observe, made me realize I was in control of the emotions, and could then respond accordingly.

I walk around New York City where I spent so much time and I see most are not consumed with the events outwardly — their inner life is a whole other story. What our inner life is is of the greatest concern for us. To be observant as to what we are truly feeling, and what we are deciding to do with those feelings in terms of action is the mark of a conscious and all accepting life.

Try this yourself. If you really want to have control of your life, check in as you go about in your day and detect and observe what you are feeling. Do this when it’s easy, when life isn’t coming at you and when you aren’t watching or reading something that’s pissing you off.

Do this for a few days, and then look at something that usually does enrage you, get you going. Look at it and observe the feeling of rage or hurt that rises within you and listen to the thoughts in your head. Question those thoughts, question those emotions. Be curious.

I write this not to tell you what to do or not to do, but to be aware of what you’re feeling, what energy you’re sensing inside of you before you act. The feeling of the solution and resolve and coming together is the feeling that when combined with action moves people to change. Any other feeling is one of ego and right versus wrong which perpetuates the problem and drives deeper wedges and exasperates the illusion of separateness.


Michael C. BryanComment