More Kindness, Less Hate

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I don’t have an answer for the world’s problems. It’d be deluded to think that any one person does. I do have an idea of what we can do better, and it’s a simple and sensible solution. Although I think we should be more peaceful and try to love everyone, that’s not what I’m recommending today.

I’d love to see a compassionate revolution spring up overnight, but we don’t seem to be ready for that yet. What we can do right now is treat each other better. This small change would allow us to collectively focus on a larger societal transformation.

I’m not suggesting anything extreme. Just more kindness and less hate. In this ideal world, we’d be quicker to forgive than hold a grudge. Instead of being selfish, we’d want to help others. Instead of putting each other down over what divides us, we’d unite over what we have in common.

My intention is not to change anyone, but to suggest things we can do to make this world better for us and everyone we share it with. My hope is that this reaches the people who want change but are unsure how to go about it. I also want to reaffirm that change is always possible, but like anything, it requires effort.

I’m not losing sleep over whether anyone takes this advice. But I do want to help people be open to this change that in my opinion could improve the world substantially. We’re all aware of the imbalance in society and the clear need to change something. Mine is just one of many voices suggesting what we could do better while keeping in mind that I know nothing in the big picture.

I often wonder why people avoid kindness. Looking back, I wonder why I’ve avoided it in the past. Why do we build up resistance to kindness in favor of anger and cold-heartedness? My best answer is that it threatens the ego. To be kind is to put someone else’s needs or wants before your own. This denies the ego its self-centered satisfaction.

For this reason alone, many people go out of their way not to be kind. There’s a pervasive idea in our society that we must be tough and disconnected from any part of ourselves perceived to be weak. Unfortunately, in our world, kindness is weakness. Why be kind when you can gain more from putting yourself above others? Why risk appearing polite and thus exploitable?

This mindset has helped us survive throughout our rough history, and in many ways, it still applies today. Personally, my philosophy is that kindness should come with just enough of a hard edge that people don’t take your niceness for granted. The last person you want to be is the one everybody takes advantage of because you’re too polite to stop them.

The aim is to create a world where we no longer have to worry about this. We can be kind and be ourselves without the threat of anyone making us into anything less. In this ideal world, kindness is inherent. Selflessness is normal, and we replace the apparent need to put each other down with the inclination to help each other thrive.

This is the world I want to see, and no matter how many times you’ve heard it before, it starts with small positive changes we can each make. As sappy as this will sound, nothing will change if there’s no change in the hearts of every individual. Our job is not to force anyone to be nicer, but to encourage kindness and remember to practice it ourselves.

If we want to evolve into the next phase of our technological and spiritual evolution without destroying ourselves, kindness and empathy must come first.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

About the author: 

31287220_1930589003619961_7591073383912046592_nI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.

This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.

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How Can We Make a Difference?

Help OthersBy Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 293rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. You can find the option to subscribe at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

What can I write that will make a difference? Who am I to think I’m capable of doing so?

I often wonder what apparently special traits I possess that would lead anyone to think I’m enlightened or even worthy of support. Don’t get me wrong; I love all the support. But despite it, I know I’m just a kid with a lot to learn who loves spirituality and likes to think about how we could do things better.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Is it narcissistic to think I have something so good to offer that people will support it? Continue reading

Flint Water Activist Awarded Environmental Prize

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is alarming to say the least. It’s scary to think that a city in a developed nation can be so deprived of clean water that it becomes a national crisis. It serves as a clear warning that we should be aware of our effect on the environment and the resources like water that are essential for our survival.

A lot of people think that in the future, we’ll fight wars over water instead of oil. The crisis in Flint and the water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa show that we should not exploit or take this life-sustaining resource for granted. At any time, it could disappear or become too polluted for us to use.

By causing the problem, trying to ignore it, and focusing on it only when pressure from the public became overwhelming, the city of Flint effectively poisoned its citizens. I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy, but at best, it’s extremely negligent. Continue reading

5 Pitfalls of New Age Thinking That Can Actually Help You

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 273rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The new age movement has produced a lot of interesting ideas, many of which have been criticized for being zany or outrageous. But beyond the zaniness, some truth exists in new age philosophy that can help us if we choose to see it.

How we approach these ideas will determine what we get out of them, and here, we’ll look at five common new age ideas from a different perspective.  Continue reading

5 Reasons to Push Past Your Comfort Zone

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 276th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

If you want to live your purpose, the first thing you should do is leave your comfort zone. Although it’s, well, comfortable, staying there can squash the dreams of anyone looking to pursue their passion. Especially if you want to succeed independently, choosing comfort over hard work will most certainly land you back in the rat race.

Obviously, it’s good to stop once and a while to rest so you don’t burn out. Everything has its place and time; but spending too much time resting will effectively prevent you from working hard or succeeding.

The following are five reasons to get out of your comfort zone before it’s too late. Continue reading

5 Tips for the Uninspired Spiritual Seeker (Part 1)

Inspiration-wordsBy Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 271st issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month. This is a preview of the article that appears in the guide.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

We could really use financial support this month, so if you like what we do here and you want to support the blog, consider subscribing to help us out.

As spiritual seekers, sometimes we lose our way. It becomes harder to find the light, and we become insecure about the unique ideas that used to fuel us. The inspiration that was once available in abundance becomes scarce as we find that we just aren’t as passionate about life as we used to be. Continue reading

It’s All Within

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 268th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The answers you seek live within you, in the consciousness that comprises who you are as a human and spiritual being.

We tend to search for fulfillment everywhere but the one place we find it in abundance: in ourselves. We accumulate external things in hopes that they’ll fill the void within, unaware that true fulfillment comes from exploring that sense of emptiness.

Spiritual seekers are no different, as we also avoid the emptiness with external things we believe will increase or enhance our spirituality. Crystals are a good example. We convince ourselves they help our spiritual growth, which they can if we don’t use them to avoid doing the difficult inner work that leads to evolution. Continue reading