Although there is a framework of thinking that states that all people are inherently “good,” it is more accurate to say that all people have the potential to be or do “good” based on their choice to do so…Behaviors are simply behaviors, and there is always a choice on how we act no matter how ingrained our automatic responses may feel in any moment.
All human actions are derived from different states of being and the intentions, motivations, and drives that fuel these actions. If these states are “pure” and “good,” then, naturally, “pure” and “good” actions result from them. But even “bad” actions (please notice that all of these words are in quotes) can be transformed into something “good” as well with intention and further corrective action.
If someone’s initial actions (based on their low internal state of being, whether intentional or unintentional) creates something negative in the world, for example, even if that person’s actions do not improve, and they do not correct themselves or what they have done, the recipients of these actions who deflect or transmute these actions can change the impact of these actions into something “better.” Think, for example, to analogies like using the bricks that are thrown at you to create something amazing in the world, or to the common metaphor of turning lemons into lemonade.
The individual and collective actions of others who wish to change negative karma (meaning actions) into something better through “right” actions, for example in the case of activism, is also a great example of this.
One simply has to look at the state of our collective human history and the ongoing realities that have been created up to this point in our existence to clearly see what is reflected from our species predominant internal states of being. But we are not doomed because there is always the potential for change and transformation. All “good” or “bad” actions, even if they are fueled by biology or impulsive trauma responses, can be modified with choice and action.
So, if we want to live in a better world, and create one collectively, we all have to, even though it can sometimes be challenging depending on where one is coming from, be better. It is the only way.
When Ghandhi said “we must be the change that we wish to see in the world,” it was not a mere sentimental thought for us to smile and nod about; it was a call to action to ensure that we understand that change is always possible and only occurs if we change ourselves for the better.
Be sure that you are practicing being your best self today; it is the only way to truly make a positive difference in this world, and even a small shift toward a more positive inner state can help. Start with just simply breathing before taking action.
If you need a bit more than simply breathing, this simple technique from cognitive behavior therapy might help. It is called the STOP Method and can be used for helping you to learn how to better respond to life’s different difficult situations instead of simply reacting:
The STOP Method
S – STOP
T – TAKE A BREATH
O – OBSERVE
P – PROCEED
If you are able to at least take a pause before acting upon either your negative or positive internal state at any given moment, you are able to more consciously make choices on how you shape your creations in life moving forward, and can choose “good” or “bad” karma instead of just letting it happen.
This is your point of power.