Monday, December 10, 2012

On Factions and The Cost Of Being “Divergent”

This post is a shared opinion of myself and my sister.

When an issue has been allowed to fester without resolution, it is most likely to get worse. And often, by the time any actual resolution is attempted, there is a tendency for things to be magnified out of proportion, to be imbued with the force of a breaking dam of repressed emotions, to be colored with various shades of personal vendettas clustered together and mistaken for a single cause. Reasons become blurred. Everything becomes emotionally-charged.

On the other hand you have the cause of grief complacent in their seat of power. Because no one has ever really truly challenged them in a valid way. So they believe they can just bulldoze their constituents with rules and expect no reaction beyond singular protests and veiled murmurings. They are difficult to contradict, it is said. But surely they were not this powerful years ago. Something could have already been done then. 

At some point, it will all come to a head.  And then some version of hell will break loose. 

Suddenly there are sides. Black or white. Where do you stand?   

Both sides, in their own ways, are forcing the hands of people. Both have their agendas, values, and visions. Both have their approaches. While one side is openly telling people to do certain things and uses blatant force, the other side is doing it guerilla-style and appealing to emotions. Both sides are pushing for their own way of things. 

Both sides are expecting to win people to their side. The thing is, they cannot expect everyone to take sides. Especially without a clear laying out of what the people are supposed to buy into. Show the plan. Show the mission and vision statement. Show evidence that this whole exercise is not just a temporary ego-relief and a short-term showing off of who’s boss or who’s the hero or getting revenge. Show instead that there is a long-term, solid and sustainable plan founded on the right kind of values that benefit everyone not just a few. 

In their own ways, both sides are forcing people to submit. Both sides threaten with the loss of something or someone. 

In the middle, some people are caught. There are casualties. There are tricky labels attached to people. There are people being forced to take sides because they might risk losing status as friend/ally/whatever. Loyalties being questioned but loyalties to what? Is everyone’s heart in the right place, in the first place? 

There are those who take sides based on convenience, afraid to be cast out, lose friends, or find it difficult to walk across a place and be judged. Who will mumble their agreements when within the faction they chose, but when faced with the “enemy” they mumble their uncertain agreement/disagreement/I'm-not-sure-what-they-say-in-the-first-place. Underhandedness, back-stabbing, too many secrets. A place broiling with dissent and resentment. 

Because no one did anything for so long and now everyone is scrambling to fix things. 

What do you do with those who cannot take sides? Those who see both sides of the situation, the reasons of both factions, the flaws of both factions? Those who see a third way, perhaps. Or those who choose to Flow, and Trust in the Cycles? Those who want to keep the hate and the anger at non-lethal levels. 

Things are not completely black and white for these people. Yet, if they do anything that seems helpful to either side, they risk being labeled as a traitor to a cause they never even fully subscribed to in the first place. What if they just do not totally buy into the way of both sides and choose to take their own stand? 

Picture this: People come in to the banquet hall. Everything has been cooked and prepared according to the belief of those who run the kitchen. People Just Want To Sit Down And Eat. So people sit down and eat. While they are at it, they gripe and complain and rant about those who prepared the meals and set the tables and decorated the place. This goes on for the entire course of the meal. They could have done something, if they want to change things. March to the kitchen and confront the cook. But, People Just Want To Sit Down And Eat. No one wants to take the responsibility of washing the dishes, cooking, setting the table, preparing the meals, and decorating the place. People Just Want To Sit Down And Eat. And yet they continue to gripe about the people who do it for them. But they just want to Sit Down And Eat. And so it goes on. And now they could no longer take the food being served and call it poison. But they have been sitting down and eating it all this time. 

If people really do just want to Sit Down And Eat, then just Sit Down And Eat. It will not always be a perfect meal and dishes will break and arguments may be heard in the kitchen. Sometimes a fly will find its way into a dish. But the banquet isn't just about that. Yet, if change is madly badly needed, there ARE ways to that. Bombing the kitchen will leave no kitchen, how will people eat? Killing everyone in the kitchen means there will be people willing to take their place. And will these new people share the same values and vision? Or will it just be another version of the old way -- the one who speaks loudest gets to dictate the menu? Or will there be, finally, an authentic community founded not on hate and anti-anything or anyone?

In these troubling times, the more one must be conscious where the True Path of Peace lies. 

And the True Path of Peace does not lie in griping sessions that has no clear plan of action to follow it through. Nor does it lie in doing every single thing underhandedly and surprising people with new rules. Nor does it lie in passing on what was heard in every hushed conversation, with each passing on giving birth to distorted versions that barely reflect the truth. *

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." ~ Albert Einstein

*Post written with M. 

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