The First Step

I often think about decisions, those that I am glad I do not have to make on a daily basis. Specifically, I’m thinking about those decisions individuals make in regard to safety or security, and those different than them.

In a simplistic world, those decisions are easy. A choice that eliminates or exercises something deemed dangerous, or perhaps just very different, might appear logical. A decision that inflicts pain on an individual or smaller group of living creatures, but potentially protects a larger group, or group more close to one’s heart makes sense.

We do not live in a simple world. Morally, we cannot dismiss these questions so easily; not as individuals nor as a society.

It is a difficult thing to take the step that chooses not to wound another for our own security, the security of our loved ones, or the security of our homes, but I believe choosing not to is what keeps us so worth protecting. When we make the choice to distrust, or injure, or kill another in the hope that it yields greater safety for ourselves, we sew deeper the seeds of aggression towards us. At times, we may even give resentment towards us validation.

Even more difficult, we must continue to make the choice to step closer to that which we fear. There are monsters in the forest, but there are also creatures we see as monsters that may not be. Acting unjustly against them may well be what turns them into monsters.

My piece is about taking that first step. It is a step both terrifying and difficult, and yes, perhaps even dangerous, but a part of the process of peace that we cannot do without.