Thursday, 18 December 2014

Crazy Idea 29 - Forgive!

If we want to fix the economy then we have to be willing to forgive. I started writing this series in anger but anger is not going to provide the foundation we need to build a strong economy.

You’ve probably heard this statement: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (CI029A)

It’s an interesting statement. There is occasional truth in it, yet not everyone who fears becomes angry. Not everyone who is angry hates.

Before the summer of 2014 I opposed Scottish independence. Having lived in England for ten years and experienced great friendship with many South of the border, I saw no reason to separate the two countries. Having been brought up in Scotland I associated Scottish Nationalism with bitterness and hatred towards the English.

Yet I was angry myself. Angry at perceived injustice in the UK. Angry at greater and greater inequality between the wealthy and the poor. Angry at a government that operated for a few rather than the many, who were unwilling to fix the root causes of our economic problems.

It is possible that my anger was partly out of fear. Fear caused by always feeling I couldn’t afford to provide for my family. Fear that I’d never be able to get on top of debt or progress in my career.

At times I’ve allowed that anger to run into hate. Hatred towards our Prime Minister. Hatred at a Coalition that has punished the poor for problems caused by the rich and middle class.

But hatred is not going to solve the many problems our economy has.

Have you ever experienced hatred? Someone abusing you physically or verbally. If you have, how did you respond?

Did you want to respond with kindness to those showing you hatred? Did you want to respond with patience, with gentleness?

One of the hardest choices any of us can make is to respond with kindness, patience and gentleness to those who show hate towards us.

There is no guarantee this counterintuitive act will improve the situation. It is even possible that such a response will make things worse, not better.

Yet millions have found such a display of love is the best response to hatred. Why? Because it releases us from the cycle of violence. It frees us to act without being governed by anger and hatred ourselves.

One of the analogies used by some in the lead up to the Scottish referendum was that of a divorce from an abusive partner, Westminster being portrayed as the abuser.

Being a victim of violence, hatred and/or anger are justifications for leaving an abusive relationship, whether on a personal level or national. But while it may not be easy or even possible to forgive the perpetrator of such abuse in the immediacy of the act, forgiveness is vital if the victim is to truly be freed.

Without giving forgiveness, the victim may end up becoming the abuser themselves. The victim may end up in a similar abusive relationship. Fear and anger and hatred have a way of spawning. Forgiveness can stop them in their tracks.

The economy of Britain is broken. We have a choice. We can live in fear of the consequences of our own bad decisions and those of our government. We can live in anger against ourselves and those who have caused the problems. We can choose to hate: hate politicians, hate the rich, even hate ourselves for our own mismanagement of our money.

Or we can choose to forgive, release ourselves from emotion that will cripple us. Allow ourselves freedom to choose a different path. If you want to fix the economy it’s your choice. What will you choose?

Do post your own crazy ideas or feedback on mine in the comments below and sign up to my mailing list below to be notified of future posts.

Why should my crazy ideas have any relevance to the economy? I'm the author of The Great Scottish Land Grab, a novel that imagines a fairer future for Scotland where the poor are empowered to change their destiny. I'm director of my own limited company: Goal 31 Ltd and I've over seven years experience working for government and financial organisations. Also, just like you, I'm a taxpayer and for some crazy reason I think that entitles us to have an opinion and for that opinion to be acted on by the government.

As I wrote at the start, I am making my 100 crazy ideas freely available. It seems unjust to propose ideas to fix the economy and then prevent people from freely reading those ideas. 100 Crazy Ideas to Fix the Economy will be published once the craziness is complete.

I can be found on Twitter: @my100goals or on Facebook: There's a short bio here.

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(CI029A; Yoda Quotes;

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