A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction. ~Rita Mae Brown
Are you the type of person who takes action when needed or who reacts to situations at hand? Do you allow people to incite you to anger and cause you to lash out? I am guilty of having reacted on more than one occasion in my life. I can honestly say, that it has never been fruitful for myself or the recipient of my ire. When I’ve taken time to think things through or plan a course of action, results have been much more productive for all involved. Whenever I act hastily, it is out of emotion. When I am led by emotion, I am not making a balanced decision. What I choose to do affects others. I have to remind myself of repercussions of my reactions. It’s like a ripple effect. I am getting better at squashing my reactions . At times, it is a power struggle within myself to wait out the situation. I realize that when I allow myself to react, I am allowing the creator of the drama to win by enticing me into the battle.
There are people who like to create drama. Each of us have them in our lives. We often nickname them drama queens. Some are even more toxic than that. They like to stir up everything around them and then sit back and watch what happens. And then there are those who think everything is about them. They will take situations that have nothing to do with them and make themselves the star. They are selfish enough to want everyone to think everything is about them. They try to appear as if they are being victimized when the situation in fact has nothing to do with them. Those are the type of people we are healthier to distance ourselves from.
Reaction is often akin to vengeance. It usually says more about the person reacting than the person for whom it is intended. We encounter these instances all the time in reality and on the social media networks. When I am eye to eye with someone, I have the choice of calling them out on their actions or simply walking away. My decision is based on the person and the incident. On the social networks, I choose to ignore those who provoke controversy for their own pleasure. I don’t mind disagreement, but I dislike it when people butt into situations or drag others into it or resort to saying rude things. It is not necessary. I see things all the time that I do not like, but it doesn’t mean that I must jump into the middle of it. When people resort to bullying others through words, start name calling, or use “hate” language, I think they’ve gone too far. I think people who initiate these sort of things are on power quests. Maybe it gives them a false sense of superiority when they step off of the hot seat and push someone else onto it.
I have recently had instances where I’ve seen people make comments on other people’s posts that have indicated the true character of the reactor rather than disclaiming the person intended. I used to be in contact with people who made everything about them or had a habit of stirring up controversy, and when called out would switch stances to appease both sides of the issue at hand. My blood would boil every time I saw a (Facebook) post, and I would just ignore it. Then, another senseless controversy was started, one in which the basis was proven not be factual, but this person wanted drama. I never commented; I simply “unfriended” this person. I could have chosen to push the block button, but I had no reason to be “friends” with this person. We have no current connection or reason of contact. Although I contemplated doing this for months when I finally pushed the button, I felt relieved and guilty at the same time. While I did it out of emotion at the moment, I decided that I was tired of watching someone throw a bone and step away to let the dogs fight over it…too much drama for me. But in all fairness, my reaction says just as much about me as it does about this person…still, I stand by my code of ethics. (And I’m sure this person stands by theirs.)
In the game of life, we can be active participants, cheerleaders on the sidelines, or hecklers in the crowd. Being active is healthy for us. Having people cheer us on inspires us to reach our potential. Cheering others on helps them and makes us feel connected. But hecklers? What purpose do they serve but to cause frustration, anger, and other negative emotions? Do hecklers really find pleasure in their actions? Does it give them a sense of power to make other feels displeasure? Why can’t we all play on the same team? I know life doesn’t work like that….but seriously can’t people learn to debate in a healthy manner?
While our differences are what makes the world an interesting place and we don’t have to agree on all issues, it would be beneficial for all if we could be respectful. If we could spend our time actively seeking positive changes, we’d have less energy to react negatively. If we (myself included) could learn to react with compassion, we might make more of a difference than we think.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. -Proverbs 27:10