DARKNESS CANNOT BE CAST OUT BY MORE DARKNESS--Inspirational communication principle of the week
A blog by Jean M. Schmith
Darkness seems to be all around us and the answer of many people seems to be--MORE DARKNESS
In this inspirational communication principle of the week, communication skills coach Dan O'Connor teaches a principle that appears to be obvious, but in practice, it is anything but. "You can't cast out darkness with more darkness; you can't cast out evil with more evil. It is an impossibility." To this you respond "well, duh--of course you can't!" Yet let's look around us at those doing just that--and see if we are one of them, or supporters of them, or quiet observers--or hopefully civil people who stand up and say "Enough! Stop!"
- In this day of alarming global strife, arms build-up, and jingoistic shouting, there are those who look at the evil inherent in war and utter ugly and provocative words at countries and leaders deemed enemies. The result illustrates the principle. Escalation of hateful and negative feelings and rhetoric that could lead to even more hateful and negative actions with dire consequences. Is this acceptable to us? Do we engage in this same type of communication? Do we follow and applaud people who think the solution to someone threatening us is to threaten them more forcefully? If someone yells, do we yell back louder? If someone calls us a disparaging name, is the solution to think up an even worse name to give him or her? THIS is being so scientifically and socially dense that we believe darkness can be overcome by more darkness. Yet science tells us that only light removes darkness. Shine a light on it! That's what you do when you want to eliminate the dark. In society, just as in science, if we bring light to the argument, we can replace discord with peace-- and divisiveness with unity-- and weakness with strength. People who stand in the light can see truth; people who stand shaking a fist and flailing about in the dark can no longer see even themselves. Let's look around at those people escalating the call to war with hateful, bullying rhetoric and see if we are one of them, or supporters of them, or quiet observers--or hopefully civil people who stand up and say "Enough! Stop!"
- There are those who watch protests going on the United States and around the world at the moment, and contribute to the situation with name-calling, saber-rattling and more ugly words. Rather than seeking to understand each other by engaging in civil conversation, these people want to "score points" and treat social issues as win/lose debates. If they are right--and if protests are "evil" and "dark" and damaging to the countries around the world, is the solution to throw more darkness and evil at them? Can that EVER be the solution? Once again, let's look around us at those doing that--and see if we are one of them, or supporters of them, or quiet observers--or hopefully civil people who stand up and say "Enough! Stop!"
- There are those who watch violence and wait to see who is on which side before deciding to support or decry it. But violence is violence, regardless of which "side" is perpetrating it. Shouldn't all violence and suspension of the rights of another be decried and seen as evil? If liberals are suppressing rights, shouldn't other liberals call FOUL loudly and forcefully? And if conservatives are depriving others of their rights, shouldn't other conservatives call such conduct deplorable? It isn't about sides; it's about right and wrong, degrading or uplifting. And in either case, dark, divisive and cutting words and actions should not be tolerated or supported because they will only serve to exacerbate any situation. Loud and ugly solutions are false solutions and sometimes "feel-good" solutions for the moment, but they essentially stem from weakness and insecurity. It requires light (love) to cast out darkness, which means that dark words that stem from ignorance should not be part of the dialogue. If our leaders, or our friends, or our coworkers are trying to solve a situation--or just make their positions known--by spewing words of hate, consider whether they are violating a principle that SHOULD be obvious, but clearly is not. "You can't cast out darkness with more darkness . . . ." Once again, let's look around us at those violating this principle for the sake of their "side" or their political party, and see if we are one of them, or supporters of them, or quiet observers--or hopefully opponents who stand up and say "Enough! Stop!"
We can change the world, one person at a time, but it requires speaking up and speaking words of love and kindness--which are always words of strength. Silence is not enough. It's time for all of us to Step Out of the Shadows and SPEAK.
Communication expert Dan O'Connor frequently goes beyond discussing communication skills, right to the heart of inspirational, spiritual matters. This is one of those times. The times call for it, and Dan answers the call.
If you would like to have Dan come in as keynote speaker or trainer to your group or organization, go to danoconnortraining.com and review his suggested topics.
If you'd like to check out Dan's free resources or premium content, go to danoconnortraining.com and look around!