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Do No Harm

A second lesson that I learned from my brother is to do no harm. My brother is 2.5 years older than me and was taught before I even came into this world, to be gentle and do no harm. My brother has lived by this philosophy and teaching to this day; do no harm in action or in words. Growing up, I often tested his will and patience, pushing to a point where most people would get angry and possibly violent, but Johnny never did. He always knew when to walk away. This is a lesson that many people could benefit from; knowing when to walk away and recognizing that it is not a sign of weakness but a sign of incredible strength.

Walking away is different then giving up or giving in. Walking away is knowing that the situation in which you find yourself cannot progress productively at its current state and needs to be revisited at another time when individuals are in a better place to communicate. Walking away means leaving a situation before it gets to a point where words are spoken that cannot be taken back or actions are done that cannot become undone.  Too many of us  allow pride to get in our way and don’t want to be seen as quitting or giving in so instead fingers are pointed, words are spoken or often screamed, and at times violence is invoked in order to get a point across. When this happens, the exact opposite of the intention happens, the person who is placing blame or becoming violent in speech or action is actually losing control and not gaining it.

When we feel threatened and under valued or when we feel unheard and unseen, we often point the finger of blame, get angry, yell, or get violent not realizing that this type of behavior is only making the situation worse. When we use violence, whether in speech or action,  as a form of communication, we have already lost, our point of view cannot be heard. The pointed finger of blame, the raised voice, or the violence is the only thing that can be seen or heard, not the person behind those actions. Those who tend to get violent in their speech and actions are coming from a place in the past not  the present looking towards the future. When you are coming from a place in the past you are coming from a place of hurt, a place of pain, or a place insecurity.  When you allow those feelings to guide your actions, you are incapable of moving forward, you just remain in a cyclone of your baggage and frustration of your inability to move forward.

In order to be able to move forward, you have to recognize which type of person you are; do you get angry when communicating with others? or are you the  type of person who can walk away and be patient? If you are the first type of person, you need to look inside and see what is in the baggage that you are carrying around. See what in your past is effecting the way that you behave in the present. Know what you can leave in the past in order for you to be able to move forward. Once you let go of what is holding you back, you will be free to live in the present and have the strength to walk away and not feel like you have something to prove.

In order for valuable communication and interaction to take place, individuals have to realize that anger is not the same as passion and violence is not that same as caring. Change and progress happen when both sides feel heard and valued. Change and progress happen when solutions are discussed and not where blame is placed. Change happens when we look forward and see what is possible and not looking behind us to see where we have been, wronged, or mistreated.

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