And why does it matter? I have been thinking a lot about this all week, in large part because of the spotlight that has been placed on the issue of domestic violence. So many voices expressing really diverse opinions about why it happens, how it happens and who’s to blame. What has been more interesting to me than that various ‘answers’ to those questions is the associated emotions conveyed when people share what they think.
When incidents like that which occurred with Ray Rice and his fiancee arise, my observation is that as people weigh in on what happened and why, emotions run high – and come from a place of deep fear. And then, in our search for certainty, which helps make us feel safer, we look for who is at fault and why we didn’t have anything to do with it. If we can come up with a reason for “why this happened”, we can mentally protect ourselves from having it impact us in any way.
As is the case with JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING, issues like this are multifaceted and complex. More importantly, because we cannot come close to understanding what it means to stand in someone else’s shoes, searching for who is to blame is a waste of time and effort. And, it tends to isolate us from a sense of responsibility to each other.
Perhaps it would serve us better if we could begin to search for solutions to big, important problems without starting from a mood of defensiveness. That will require us to change the way we think and how we examine the people we encounter though, which takes more effort than jumping to conclusions. Moving forward, I know that I am committing to trying to start from a place of curiousity before I move to judgment. Want to join me?