In general, all human beings seek their well-being. Instinctively, we run away from suffering and look for those things that keep us safe and give us pleasure. This is the way we get satisfaction. Nevertheless, in pursuing satisfaction, we usually harm others. Often, when we pursue our own self-interest, we neglect that of others. The same holds true for other kingdoms in nature: the larger fish eats the smaller one, and the more adept plant stretches out robbing its neighbors of sunlight.
We all participate in this instinctive struggle, where some are harmed and some are benefited. While engaged in this struggle, everyone works toward their well-being and avoids pain. Although every person has different needs, we all usually yearn for health, inner peace, a significant other, acceptance, good relationships, work, income, etc. Fighting for what we want is a natural instinctive drive, thanks to which we are alive. The trick here is that surviving without harming others requires a certain level of evolution. All religions agree. “Treat others as you want to be treated,” “What you put out there comes back at you,” “By the measure you use it will be measured back to you,” “The end does not justify the means,” and the like.
This daily struggle is a constant tug of war. Everyone wants to reap the greatest benefits not only at the workplace but in every area of life. Moreover, as we fight to obtain what’s best for us, we feel the need to step on others to reinforce our own self-esteem.
Some believe that anger and wrath can be healing provided these feelings don’t harm other people. When we suppress these emotions, we’re unable to survive. Furthermore, if we direct them at other persons, we will also harm ourselves—»What we give comes back to us multiplied.” This is true not because a prophet or a moralist said so. It is a self-evident law of physics and metaphysics that operates in all the areas of existence “for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” In other words, results in life depend on how much love or hate one feels. The measuring parameters are found in life itself: How is our health? What’s happening at the emotional level? What are our relationships like? How is our communication? How does our money flow? If we have problems with any of these aspects, it means we harbor resentment against others or—even—ourselves.
As I mentioned before, “What we give comes back to us multiplied.” That is why things are the way they are. The quality of life can be an indicator of the kind of resentment we harbor. Those who are extremely resentful are on a path of self-destruction and, thus, they gradually lose everything that could have benefited them. Such is the measure of atonement that is required. It is like a straightjacket that the individual unconsciously wears to avoid hurting others. In our heart of hearts, we all know the difference between good and evil. Our conscience is both judge and executioner. The minute we start going against our values—or master programming—, there are repercussions; that is, the limitations stemming from our incongruity. Throughout our life, the results we obtain don’t depend on our circumstances. Rather, they depend on our actions. If we harm the environment, we’ll sabotage ourselves because within ourselves lives a being who’s inherently good, one who has been formed over centuries of education from our ancestors. If we don’t pay heed to our conscience, it’ll take more drastic measures, including a lack of results, diseases, or conflicts in our relationships. All these problems are meant to get our attention and show us that we’re on the path of self-destruction. If we don’t change our attitudes, we’re headed for certain death.
Some of our readers might say, “How is it possible that someone who stole from somebody else is having such a good time?” Money is not everything. What good does it do to us if we’re terminally ill? Or just because we have money, can we live in peace? We sometimes look at life from the outside and believe that everything’s going really well. “If you want to get to fully know someone, live with them,” or so the saying goes. From a distance, nobody can tell what’s truly happening. Nevertheless, “a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
So, what can we do to take control over existence? The first step is to stop blaming others for the things that happen to us. The longer we continue to point fingers at others, the more incompetent we’ll be to take matters in our hands. Of course, assigning blame to others is easy; it’s like someone who blames running late to work on a broken traffic light that caused a traffic jam. When we make excuses, we’re not assuming our responsibility and, thus, we can’t find solutions to our problems. We will see the solutions when we atop blaming one another. We can’t change people; they are what they are. We can’t change the world; it is what it is. But surely, we can change ourselves and set an educational example. The scope of freedom of choice is limited to the individual.
We can’t change others because we can’t clash with everyone. Wanting to change others is tantamount to believing that the other is wrong and we are right. This attitude has triggered wars. Big changes start with an individual who has realized that they are responsible for themselves.