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3 lessons Oscar Pistorius could teach us.

It’s impossible to miss the complete frenzy with which news about Oscar Pistorius and his trial are being devoured. On the one hand, there’s our human proclivity for voyeurism and judgement that seems hardcoded into our lizard brain DNA. On the other hand, there’s this…

 

3 LESSONS OSCAR PISTORIUS COULD TEACH US…

1 Humanising,
not hero-worshipping

Heroes are human, and humans fall. For those we put up on pedestals, the fall is further and harder. The idolisation of another creates unrealistic expectations of perfection and saintliness, among other things. Apart from the enlightened, no one can live up to that all the time. We are each a lover and a villain, a creator and a destroyer, a healer and a harmer. We are “both and” equations. Without exception. What if we approached all human beings as… human – equally capable of acts of deep love as they are of deep hurt, like the rest of us?

 

2 Compassion,
not judgement

There are speculations, extrapolations, assumptions, and biases. And then there’s the truth. The truth of what happened, how it happened, why it happened, what combination of emotions and neuropeptides was astir in their hearts and heads, the full picture, the facts we don’t know. The truth. We don’t know until we know. What if we distanced ourselves from our opinions long enough to see things through someone else’s eyes? Perspective is a powerful curative for judgement.

 

3 Forgiveness,
not persecution

We each bear our own cross, battle our own demons, feel remorse. The guilt and shame of our own mistakes hang low in our orbit, karmic shadows that descend every now and then and eclipse the very essence of our lives. For many of us, the pain and regret we feel for the things we’ve done or the things we should have done differently means there is much deep, dark work to be done to get to a place where we can accept that we deserve to put down the cross and turn our faces up to the light, regardless of our actions. I think putting down the cross can be more gruelling than carrying it and can use up every last drop of strength in our reserves. Consider what it would be like if your most haunting shadows were dragged out into the open, for all the world to see and judge and jeer at. Just think, how much more excruciating it would be to do that deep, dark work when those around you keep nailing you back to the cross.

I’ve got a proposition: how about we work through our own shit instead of persecuting other people for theirs? Twitter Bird Icon: Neshika's Tweetable

 

We all wish to be treated with compassion. We all seek forgiveness from those we’ve hurt. We are all worthy of receiving both. And we must give what we wish to receive.

It’s anything but easy to show that kind of humanity, to choose more conscious responses, in the face of brutality and “wrongdoing.” But it is in those moments when you have less than zero love to give, that your love is most needed.


It is in those moments when hate and disgust and indignation seethe like hot lava in and around you, that you will be called on to cool your head, warm your heart and expand.


It’s how we evolve.
And it’s why we must practice.

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