It is interesting to hear and read the opinions of others. We all believe that what we believe is true. In fact, I know the things I believe are true. Just like you know what you believe to be true. Except...there are many things that was I certain of at points in my life - things that I felt were of ultimate importance, important enough to get angry over - that turned out to be a crock of crap. I was partially right, perhaps, but not right to the degree that I believed. We are never more wrong than when we are absolutely sure we are right.
When we feel completely and utterly right, we are most likely to do something very wrong. It only takes a split second to do something you regret for the rest of your life. When we know ourselves to be right and take part in mob-like activity, when we project hateful statements into the world, when the ends justify the means, when we have no contact with our deepest values - we are wrong.
Knowing that I may be wrong even when I know I'm right gives me the ability to really hear what others express, even when I am angry. I can work for change in the world and not hate. I can respect even those who I am most in conflict with. Truly listening, I find solutions that surprise, and a willingness to change.
This connection with my ultimate values, of kindness, compassion, positive indifference and joy. remind myself of what is most important. Knowing the danger of making concepts more important than people I connect to the awe of the present. It is possible for me to come back to awareness sooner when I am mesmerized by my perception of events. I see the stars, and the vivid experience of truly being here, right now.This is my antidote to the inflammation of outrage.
The negative emotions of fear, greed and hatred are infectious. Each lends itself to horrific and cancerous self-interest. Opinion is a wonderful tool, yet a terrible master. We can set boundaries without making someone else into a demon. We can learn from our perception without mistaking it for reality. We are more effective in serving our point of view, while leaving those in our life feeling respected rather than coerced.