“Force without wisdome collapses from its own weight.” Horus, Odes.
We see this all the time. A primary example from history would be the Nazi Regeim. There was no wisdom whatsoever in that movement, but a tremendous amount of force was involved. Yes, there were also manipulation and scare tactics etc. But most of it was a military movement that incited a lot of socio-political garbage thinking.
We can see this in politics today. After all, we do have to “build a wall” to keep all those illegal immigrants out of the country to which we ourselves immigrated and took over. The hypocricy abounds! Lies are told about crime rates that actually don’t exist because if someone is undocumented the last thing they actually want is to draw attention to themselves. I don’t usually talk about politics, but the last few years of being bombarded by information on both sides of current affairs have me at a point of wanting to just leave this planet behind and go somewhere, anywhere, else in the glaxy to live.
So how do we incorporate wisdom?
The first and most important thing, I find, is to let go of the multitudes of divisive labels to which people are so strongly clinging. I do not care if someone is one race or another (we are all human, after all) and I do not care if someone is straight, LGBTI, or anything else (we are all human, after all, and a person’s sexual orientation is none of my business) and I do not care if a person identifies as male or female or uses whatever washroom they choose, as long as they wash their hands afterwards (because we are all human, after all), and so on.
Once we actually get it that we are all human, all that other stuff becomes such a non-issue.
Next on the agenda is letting go of our agendas. People tend to try to force the world to succumb to a mold that they have created for the world out of their own needs, expectations and religious dogmas. This is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Understanding that the world is diverse is a major step in the release of agendas. But we have to take it one step further. We have to then appreciate the diveristy. We cannot accomplish it by only becoming tolerant of diversity. That is not accepting or appreciating. We don’t have to feel threatened by anothers’ beliefs. That serves no one. We can stand in our own beliefs and know that others not only will see things differently, but the fact that they will is part of the diverse world in which we live, and we can appreciate that.
We have to begin in our own family systems. So often I work with people who are tragically wounded from thier own family members who have tried to force their beliefs and opinions down the throats of others. This could be anything from strict religious beliefs to demans upon how “we do things”, to control tactics about a person’s right to choose anything for themselves, to explore the world and to explore themselves and discover who they truly are, regardless of what another thinks about them. Sometimes those control tactics are in the form of shaming a person, telling a person they will be disowned, threatening a person’s well-being, gaslighting a person, or even telling a person that they will “burn in hell” if they choose something other than what the control freak thinks is valid. It may also look like forms of manipulation, such as pitting one person against another, or triangulating between the target and another person in that target’s life. “You go talk to him and set him straight because he is not listening to me,” is a common version of this. All of these types of maniuplation and control are toxic. There is no wisdom in them and yet much force is implemented.
I remember when one of my adult kids came to stay with me for a week or two between places that were being rented. One evening my kid said to me, “Dad, is it okay with you if I go spend the night at so-and-so’s place?” I was quite shocked by the question. I said, “You can do whatever you like. You are a grown up and I am not the boss of you.” We laughed. That is exactly the type of thing we need to do when it comes to anyone else in our lives as well. No one owns another or dictates what another is supposed to do, be, say etc. I always felt that once my children were of legal age they could make their own decisions. And their mother and I would work on building confidence within them in decision makeing as they grew up. This did not in any way look like giving them the impression of choice when there was no choice. That would again be manipulative. It was more starting with little things that did not have much consequence to those progressivley larger things that did have consequences. And they are both pretty good at making their own decisions now that they are adults. I can trust that they will always do what is best, most often for themselves and sometimes what is best for another. That is called the ability to respond in a healthy way, which is what responsibility is all about. There really is no better way to foster independence and self-confidence in a child.
As we implement wisdom in our lives we are able to know when force is actually necessary. For example, if I were to see someone beating the heck out of someone else, I would intervene. This may look forceful from the outside. But it is wisdom in motion. If I notice that there is an animal being neglected or abused the same rules apply. The wisdom of it is in righting a wrong situation, but the wisdom of it also includes being able, whenever possible, to choose compassion and education over punative measures. If those don’t work, then definite punative measures are incorporated.
As we walk through our lives, there are a LOT of opportunities to decide between force and wisdom. And they sometimes are not always mutually exclusive. It is what we choose that makes us who we are.